The Victorian government has launched the tender for the expression of interest for the 50-year lease of the Port of Melbourne in less than two weeks after the passage of the Port of Melbourne Lease Transaction Bill 2015.
Expressions of interest for the 50-year lease is the first step in shortlisting qualified parties, who will be invited to submit final proposals for the port.
The government said it expects to announce a preferred leaseholder before the end of 2016. The deadline for lodging responses is on Monday 18 April 2016 (AEST).
Morgan Stanley and Flagstaff Partners are the state’s financial advisers for the Port of Melbourne lease transaction.
“The lease will make our port even better, increasing efficiencies and competitiveness, and will reinforce Victoria’s position as the freight and logistics capital of the nation,” says Treasurer Tim Pallas.
“We’re moving to market quickly because of the strong bidder interest in the Port of Melbourne and we’re confident the lease will deliver significant, long-term economic benefit to Victorians.”
The bidding race is expected to include Hastings Funds Management, IFM Investors, QIC Ltd and partners.
The lease proceeds set at $6 billion are intended to be used for removing 50 of the state’s worst level crossings and building key infrastructure initiatives in addition to the establishment of a new $200 million Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund.