The New South Wales Government has agreed to sell part of Ausgrid, the state’s electricity distributor, to an Australian consortium.
The government reached an agreement with Australian companies IFM Investors and AustralianSuper in a deal worth $16.189 billion.
New South Wales Premier, Mike Baird, said proceeds from the sale will help fund critical infrastructure projects as part of the state government’s $20 billion Rebuilding NSW plan.
“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 people’s’ lives.”
New South Wales Treasurer, Gladys Berejiklian, said the successful unsolicited proposal by IFM Investors and AustralianSuper was thoroughly assessed by government agencies and financial advisers, within the strictest probity requirements, and found to be delivering value for money.
“This is an outstanding result and it is great to see a completely Australian consortium investing in this asset,” 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.”
As this is an all-Australian consortium, there is no need to seek approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.
The Price Commissioner, Professor Allan Fels AO, has also signed off on the Ausgrid transaction.
The consortium has also signed the Electricity Prices Guarantee, which confirms total Ausgrid network charges will be lower in 2019 than they were in 2014.
The NSW Government will retain 49.6 per cent of Ausgrid and will have an ongoing role as the lessor of the business and an investor.
In addition, the state will continue its roles as licensor and safety and reliability regulator of Ausgrid.
Ausgrid will also continue to be regulated by the Australian Energy Regulator, which determines network prices.