The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement it will not oppose Transurban Group's proposed acquisition of Queensland Motorways (QM) Group.
Transurban's tollroad operations are based in NSW and Victoria, while QM Group's activities are limited to Queensland, the ACCC said.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the deal was unlikely to substantially lessen competition.
The deal would increase Transurban's electronic tag base nationally, but due to the limited degree of interstate travel by motorists, combining the businesses was unlikely to increase Transurban's ability to raise roaming fees and affect the competitiveness of rival bids in each state, the ACCC said.
According to sources, three consortia submitted indicative bids for Queensland Motorways:Analysts have estimated Queensland Motorways could fetch about A$5 billion (US$4.5 billion).
The sale would continue the push by Australian state governments to sell off large infrastructure assets to pay for capital works programs.The Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC)
is a government owned corporation based in Brisbane and, with over $50 billion funds invested across the globe, is Australia's fourth largest funds manager. QIC holds the investment in QM on behalf of the state's Defined Benefit Fund, which funds superannuation obligations for retired workers.The state Government transferred QM to QIC in May 2011 for a market-value price of A$3.088 billion on an enterprise value basis. Since then the business has been substantially transformed, and has just reached contractual agreement to acquire Brisbane's Clem7 Tunnel
for A$618 million, tolling rights for the city's A$1.5 billion Legacy Way tunnel and the A$308 million Go Between bridge.QIC appointed Macquarie Group
and UBS as financial advisers for the potential sale of Queensland Motorways (QM).