Written on the 24 April 2014

QIC Limited has confirmed the sale of tollway operator Queensland Motorways to Transurban Group (ASX:TCL) for $7.057 billion.

Transurban has been placed in a trading halt until May 1 following the announcement, with the deal expected to be completed by the third quarter.

State government transferred asset management rights to QIC in 2011, for the market-value price of $3.088 billion.

CEO Damian Frawley says the return on investment indicates the high quality of QIC’s services and people.

“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.”

Net proceeds from the sale will remain in the Defined Benefit Fund, which provides superannuation to current public servants.

“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,” he says.

Frawley says the successors have a long established track record maintaining similar operations.

Assets include 70km of tolled roads, bridges, and infrastructure, including the Gateway, Logan motorways, Brisbane’s Go-Between Bridge, CLEM7 and the Legacy Way motorway due to open in 2015.

Transurban CEO Scott Charlton says the acquisition is a result of months of detailed analysis and is consistent with the company’s growth strategy.

“Clearly this is a portfolio of attractive assets with all the characteristics of our existing networks in Sydney and Melbourne, and the attractive demographics of the Queensland market.

“As an operator we have a unique ability to integrate and unlock value from our networks utilising our core capabilities,” he says.

A consortium led the acquisition with equity interests 62.5 per cent Transurban, 25 per cent AustralianSuper and 12.5 per cent Tawreed – a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Tolls are unlikely to be impacted, as they are regulated by franchise agreements with state government and council.






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