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Port of Melbourne leased

Port of Melbourne leased
ACA World The $9.7 billion pricetag for the 50-year lease of the Port of Melbourne is well above expectations.

The $9.7 billion pricetag for the 50-year lease of the Port of Melbourne is well above expectations. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian

Port of Melbourne leased for whopping $9.7 billion

VICTORIA has been “lucky” in its timing after securing $9.7 billion for the 50-year lease of the Port of Melbourne.

Treasurer Tim Pallas said the port was the premium asset in its class in Australia, but the higher-than-expected price was down to some good fortune.

“I think we’ve been very lucky in terms of timing … couldn’t have picked a better time to go to the market,” Mr Pallas told reporters on Monday.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the Lonsdale consortium’s bid, which includes the Future Fund, QIC and international investors, had passed competition and foreign investments checks.

“This is a massive vote of confidence … every Victorian should take great pride in the price that has been paid for this asset,” Mr Andrews told reporters.

More than $970 million of the purchase price will be spent on regional and rural infrastructure projects.

Mr Andrews said he would work to finalise the extra 15 per cent Victoria will now be due under the federal government’s asset recycling scheme. The previous government had booked about $5 billion for the sale of the port lease, but estimates of the final price had ranged as high as $7 billion before Monday’s announcement.

Mr Pallas signed the contracts on Monday morning, with commercial close expected on October 31.

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