Macquarie, UBS to advise on Qld Motorways sale

QIC has appointed as advisers on the $4 billion sale of Queensland Motorways.

Investment banks Macquarie Group and UBS have been appointed advisers on the $4 billion Queensland Motorways, according to sources.

The Queensland Investment Corp confirmed it was looking at selling off its investment in the business earlier this month as it moved to rebalance its portfolio of assets. Queensland Motorways has been earmarked for a potential trade sale or sharemarket listing.

Transurban's chief executive, Scott Charlton, has said his company would be interested in acquiring the $4 billion Queensland Motorways business after putting itself in the box seat to purchase Sydney's embattled Cross City Tunnel by securing $475m worth of debt on the asset.

QIC has been selecting financial advisers to determine the best structure for any sale of Queensland Motorways.

Previously, chief executive Damien Frawley had said no decision had been made on the eventual structure or outcome of any such process, although market sources have speculated that an initial public offering of the business could be on the cards.

The investment is held by QIC on behalf of the state's Defined Benefit Fund, which provides superannuation obligations for retired workers. The proceeds of any monetisation process would remain in the fund, QIC said.

QIC a year ago denied it intended to sell its stake in Queensland Motorways, then worth about $3bn, confirming at the time that it was trying to raise $1.5bn to help refinance the motorway's debt.

Since then, Queensland Motorways has bought Brisbane's Clem7 Tunnel for $618m, tolling rights for the city's $1.5bn Legacy Way tunnel and the $308m Go Between bridge, and is expected to be a bidder for the Airport Motorway.

Groups likely to be interested in Queensland Motorways include superannuation heavyweight Industry Funds Management, Abertis/Hastings, and groups out of Canada including the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board or the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.