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Lead advisors appointed for asset sales

Queensland Government appoints lead and commercial advisors for proposed sale of state assets

The Queensland Government has appointed lead and commercial advisors for its proposed sale of state assets.

Premier Anna Bligh says after a comprehensive evaluation process, a consortium comprising Rothschild, Merrill Lynch and the Royal Bank of Scotland has been selected to handle the sale of a raft of assets including Queensland Rail’s freight business, Port of Brisbane, Queensland Motorways, and the Abbot Point coal terminal.

The ‘Renewing Queensland’ plan is expected to reap around $15 billion in proceeds for Queensland, and will see taxpayers avoid a potential $12 billion in capital works expenditure, she says.

“A program of this size presents formidable challenges, which is why we need to get the best people on board to provide the commercial advice that will see us get the best deal for Queensland,” the Premier adds.

Bligh says the consortium members have a strong history of advising governments around the world.

“A consortium of the calibre of Rothschild, Merrill Lynch and RBS is highly-experienced and well-equipped to assist Government with the task.

“This is about ensuring that the Queensland economy emerges from the current economic conditions in a strong position to drive the future growth and job creation opportunities for both the State and national economies.

“This is about delivering the essential infrastructure like schools, hospitals and roads that Queenslanders need – and allowing the private sector to build ports and rail lines that commercially benefit the sector,” she says.

Bligh says the complexity of the sales process requires specialist advice.

“Working closely with the government, the consortium will now move quickly to define the scope of the sales. We will continue our dialogue with key stakeholders, including unions, throughout the process.

“This appointment shows our determination to get on with the job of rebuilding the state’s finances, returning the budget to surplus and maintaining Australia’s largest building program,” she says.

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