Queensland Investment Corporation Limited (QIC) yesterday announced the $7.057 billion sale, inclusive of stamp duty, of Queensland Motorways to a consortium of investors comprising Transurban, Australian Super and Tawreed Investments Limited (Abu Dhabi Investment Authority).
The sale is subject to certain conditions precedent being satisfied and is expected to complete by the third quarter of 2014.
Queensland Motorways manages a 70km network of tolled roads, bridges and infrastructure, including the Gateway Extension and Logan motorways, Brisbane's Go-Between Bridge, CLEM7 tunnel and the planned Legacy Way motorway due to open in 2015. The State Government transferred Queensland Motorways - which at the time included just the Gateway and Logan motorways - to QIC to asset manage in May 2011 for a market-value price of $3.088 billion on an enterprise value basis, inclusive of stamp duty.
QIC Chief Executive Officer Damien Frawley said the sale price demonstrated the high quality of the Queensland Motorways assets and its people. He said:
"QIC's Global Infrastructure group made substantial progress in commercialising the business since taking over three years ago, installing a highly experienced board and management team."
"They have substantially expanded the road network, including through the unique, unsolicited transaction with Brisbane City Council on Legacy Way and the Go Between Bridge, and the purchase of the CLEM7 motorway for an attractive price.
"There was a high level of interest in the sale process, with a number of competing consortia comprising committed and competitive local and international institutional investors and strategic industry players."
"The successful consortium has a long-established track record in successfully owning and operating similar assets."
The business was held on behalf of the State's Defined Benefit Fund, which provides for the superannuation obligations of current public servants.
Mr Frawley said:
"The sale is in line with the original intention of the acquisition, which was to improve the business and then divest to improve the returns to the Defined Benefit Fund."
"The result is a great outcome for the Defined Benefit Fund, with the net proceeds from the sale to remain in the Defined Benefit Fund to meet public sector superannuation liabilities to existing members."
QIC was advised by Macquarie Capital and UBS. Allens Linklaters were legal advisers and PwC were tax and accounting advisers.
Transurban is a leading international developer, owner and operator of toll roads. Transurban's network encompasses 150.6km of roads across the eastern seaboard of Australia and Northern Virginia in the USA. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange since 1996 Transurban has a current market capitalisation of over A$10 billion and enterprise value of approximately A$18 billion.
AustralianSuper is one of Australia's largest superannuation funds with more than two million members and over $73 billion in funds under management. AustralianSuper has been an active investor in infrastructure since 1994, with direct and indirect ownership in over 100 different infrastructure assets.
Tawreed Investments Limited: Tawreed is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). Tawreed has made a number of investments in critical infrastructure assets including Port Botany and Port Kembla.