NSW announces $16b Ausgrid sale

Posted on 20 August 2019

“Delighted to be entering into a partnership with IFM and Australian Super”, Gladys Berejiklian. Photo by Louise Kennerley.Aconsortium of Australian pension funds will pay $16.189billion for50.4 per cent of electricity companyAusgrid, the NSW government has announced.
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The decision to accept an unsolicited proposal by Australian Super and IFM investors was announced by Premier Mike Baird and Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday.

“This is another excellent result for the people of NSW after our successful $10.258 billion lease of TransGrid,” Mr Baird said.

“Our poles and wires transactions are unlocking billions of dollars to fund new schools, hospitals, public transport and roads that will make a real difference to peoples’ lives.”

Ms Berejiklian said: “The NSW government is delighted to be entering into a partnership with IFM and AustralianSuper given their demonstrated track record in the management and long term investment in infrastructure assets.”

The proposal wasrevealed in late September,just weeks after Chinese bids were blocked on national security grounds by federal Treasurer Scott Morrison.

The unsolicited proposal rules allow for a confidential approach to the NSW government with a unique proposal. The consortium argued its proposal was unique as it was an “all Australian” bid.

The government will now dealdirectly with the consortium, without going to tender.

Theinitial transaction for Ausgridwas blocked by federal Treasurer Scott Morrisonin August.

Chinese-government owned State Grid Corporation and Hong Kong based company Cheung Kong Infrastructure were the sole bidders for a 99-year leaseof 50.4 per cent of Ausgrid, expected to reap up to $14 billion.

But in making the decision, Mr Morrison said “national interest concerns” were paramount after receiving advice from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

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