Three bidders for Australian utility Macquarie Generation - govt

SYDNEY Wed Feb 5, 2014 3:15am EST

SYDNEY Feb 5 (Reuters) - Three bidders have submitted final offers for Australian power company Macquarie Generation, a spokesman for the owner said on Wednesday, underscoring solid demand for infrastructure assets.

"I can confirm we have had three bids," Imre Salusinszky, a spokesman for the government of the state of New South Wales (NSW) said, declining to comment on the identity of the bidders or the value of the offers.

Bankers expect Macquarie Generation to draw a final bid price of about A$1.5 billion ($1.33 billion).

AGL Energy Ltd, Japan's Marubeni Corp and ERM Power Ltd had been expected to submit final bids for the utility which is the state's largest power generator.

If the privatisation succeeds, other state governments around Australia are expected to follow suit, with toll roads, ports and other power assets likely to be put on the block to fund new infrastructure spending.

The NSW government says some of the proceeds of the sale of Macquarie Generation will go towards an A$11.5 billion motorway scheme to ease traffic congestion in Sydney's western suburbs.

A final decision on the Macquarie Generation sale is expected by the end of March.

($1 = 1.1242 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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