SYDNEY Aug 13 Australia's Victoria state said
on Wednesday it has hired Morgan Stanley to sell the
lease for the Port of Melbourne, the country's largest container
and general cargo port, in a deal local media estimated may
fetch A$6 billion ($5.57 billion).
The country's governments are hoping to raise some A$130
billion by selling state-owned infrastructure in the next two
years and Victoria, Australia's second-most populous state,
hopes to raise A$27 billion by selling assets.
In May, Morgan Stanley sold New South Wales state's Port of
Newcastle, the world's largest coal export terminal, to China's
China Merchants [CNMGP.UL} and locally based Hastings Funds
Management for A$1.75 billion, double the amount widely
Hiring Morgan Stanley was "an important step in securing the
best value for Victorians through a medium-term lease of the
Port of Melbourne," state treasurer Michael O'Brien said in a
statement without specifying how long the lease will be.
"It is absolutely critical that we receive the best quality
commercial advice when considering a lease of this size and
The state also hired corporate adviser Flagstaff Partners
and law firm Minter Ellison to manage the deal. The advisers
will conduct project management, due diligence, valuation and
asset preparation for the sale, the statement said without
giving a target valuation for the asset.
The sale process will start in 2015, it added.
Last year, NSW sold Port Botany and Port Kembla for A$5
billion. The Queensland state government has said it hopes to
sell its Townsville and Gladstone ports if it wins an election
(1 US dollar = 1.0775 Australian dollar)
(Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Matt Driskill)