A consortium comprising equal representation of IFM Investors and AustralianSuper has acquired a 50.4% interest in a 99-year lease of Ausgrid releasing $16.2 billion in gross proceeds to the New South Wales Government.
The consortium principals said it was a privilege to become the custodian of one of the leading electricity networks in Australia that plays a critical role in delivering electricity to approximately 1.7 million homes and businesses across New South Wales.
AustralianSuper Chief Executive Ian Silk said: “This all-Australian partnership between the millions of members of our two organisations and the NSW Government will maintain and enhance the Ausgrid network vital to so many NSW communities while providing returns that will contribute to the long term retirement savings of the nation’s workers.”
“Ausgrid is a high-quality electricity transmission and distribution business that has been in operation for over 100 years and is vitally important to the NSW economy. We commend the NSW Government for its willingness to harness superannuation money to drive positive outcomes for the State.”
IFM Investors Chief Executive Brett Himbury said: “This is a tremendous outcome for over 6 million hardworking Australians who, through their superannuation fund, will partner with the NSW Government in operating an essential component of NSW’s energy infrastructure.
“This is a new kind of ‘PPP’ - a true Pension Public Partnership. This Pension Public Partnership makes Australian superannuation money available to build new infrastructure, improving standards of living and productivity. At the same time, the investment in Ausgrid will add to the superannuation accounts of over 6 million Australians."
“We are looking forward to working as a long-term partner with the NSW Government, helping to secure the future prosperity of NSW and continuing to operate the network in a safe, responsible and sustainable manner.”
The consortium aspires for Ausgrid to be a world class operator of electricity network services. As active asset managers, IFM Investors and AustralianSuper will build on Ausgrid’s strengths as a reliable and safe electricity network operator. Ausgrid’s efficiency will be further enhanced and the business will be aligned with the needs of its 1.7 million customers. This will result in lower bills to households and businesses by 2019 and a strong, ongoing focus on value-for-money outcomes.