The New South Wales (NSW) government in Australia has kicked off the $30 billion "poles and wires" privatisation, with a call for expressions of interest for the long-term lease of transmission network owner TransGrid.The deadline for expressions of interest in TransGrid is 10am AEST on July 14.
According to sources, the sale process is being run by Deutsche Bank and UBS on behalf of the government. The process is expected to be last for 18 months and the privatization is expected to be in the form of a 99-year lease.
The 100 per cent interest on offer in Transgrid is also expected to be a drawcard for bidders, providing a simpler structure than the 50.4 per cent stakes to be offered in Ausgrid and Endeavour.
Sources say that the process has attracted eight bidding consortia that could converge into four or five. TransGrid is worth about A$9 billion.
Hastings Funds Management has teamed up with Spark Infrastructure, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, La Caisse De Depot Et Placement Du Quebec and Kuwait's Wren House Infrastructure. Australian Super has a separate bidding team, while QIC, IFM Investors and Cheung Kong Infrastructure are also expected to be involved.
Other interest comes from State grid Corporation and China Southern, and Singapore Power may ally with AusNet Services.