Transurban buys Qld Motorways

Transurban-led group pays $7.05bn for the 70-kilometre network of roads in the Brisbane area.

Transurban (TCL), Australian Super and a unit of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth Tawreed Investments are the new owners of Queensland Motorways after agreeing to pay $7.05 billion for the 70-kilometre network of roads in the Brisbane area, according to an email statement sent to Data Room.

The Transurban-led group beat out another bidding group led by Melbourne-based infrastructure investors Hastings, Spanish infrastructure operator and investor Abertis, the Kuwait Investment Authority and Dutch pension fund APG after the two groups were asked to submit their best and final offers for Queensland Motorways at 5 pm this afternoon, Data Room reporting has discovered.  

ASX listed Transurban and its partners are paying about 28 times Queensland Motorways’ 2013 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, a price that exceeds significantly what many analysts who follow Transurban thought would be paid for the toll road network.

In the winning consortia, Transurban has a 62.5% stake, Australian Super a 25% stake and Tawreed 12.5%.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs advised the winning bidders. Fund manager QIC holds Queensland Motorways on behalf of the state’s Defined Benefits Fund.

QIC Chief Executive Damien Frawley said the sale price demonstrated the high quality of the Queensland Motorways assets and its people.

“The successful consortium has a long-established track record in successfully owning and operating similar assets,” Mr Frawley said in a statement.

Queensland Motorways manages tolled roads, bridges and infrastructure, including the Gateway, 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 $3.08bn on an enterprise value basis, inclusive of stamp duty.

Allens Linklaters were legal advisers to QIC and PwC were the tax and accounting advisers.

Other bidding groups for Queensland Motorways were one consisting of Melbourne-based IFM, Canadian infrastructure investor Borealis and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC as well as another made up of Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah and Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund.