Exactly who will own Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) following its takeover and why does it matter?

Here’s what Sydney Airport’s takeover could mean for retail investors.

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The takeover of Sydney Airport (ASX: SYD) is likely preparing to take off early next month. Shareholders are set to vote in a ballot on 3 February.

If all goes to plan, the takeover will see one of the globe’s major airports taken from public boards and placed among private investment firms. Having said that, it will still be in the hands of regular Australians.

It’s to be taken over by the Sydney Aviation Alliance – a consortium of superannuation funds. That means many Aussies will see their super balance grow on the back of the airport.

But will the delisting of Sydney Airport prove to be positive for day-to-day Australian investors?  

Right now, the Sydney Airport share price is $8.69. That’s slightly lower than the consortium’s takeover bid of $8.75.

What does Sydney Airport’s takeover mean for retail investors?

The Sydney Airport might be in its final weeks as a listed entity.

It’s set to be purchased in part by the consortium’s leader IFM Investors – owned by 23 pension funds.

Global Infrastructure Partners ­– on behalf of its managed funds and clients – is also expected to have a tight hold on the consortium.

Meanwhile, super funds AustralianSuper, QSuper, and UniSuper, will each hold interests ranging from 7.5% to 18%.

Super funds are effectively run to benefit Australians. But will the delisting of a major Australian stock be a hit to retail investors?

Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia CEO Martin Fahy isn’t worried. He told The Age Sydney Airport’s takeover doesn’t mark the start of a “great delisting”:

Aussie Super and IFM taking a company off the ASX boards is effectively putting it into the hands of ‘mom and pop’ investors. Other investors might not see it like that, but that’s effectively what it is.

Though, Wilson Asset Management chair and chief investment officer Geoff Wilson isn’t so optimistic.

He said, while super funds snapping up companies ultimately sees them owned by Australians, there’s a downside to the privatisation of Australian companies. The Age quoted Wilson:

[A]s an investor in the stock market, I’d like more companies, more opportunity, and more variety.

Australians have a very high participation in investing in the stock market, and it’s unfortunate if they don’t get that opportunity.

While the takeover is likely to see Sydney Airport taken from the ASX – at an aggregate price of $23.6 billion – it’s also boosted its share price.

Since the consortium’s initial $8.25 per share bid was first posted, the airport’s stock has gained 49%.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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