NSW gets bumper return for Newcastle port lease


‘Asset recycling’ continues in state as Hastings gets part control of second Australian port

NSW gets bumper return for Newcastle port lease
Newcastle port to be in private hands into next century

 

Hastings Funds Management has doubled its port portfolio, buying a 90-year lease in conjunction with Chinese state enterprise China Merchants.

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird described the $1.75 billion gained as an "incredible result" and a "momentous result that exceeded expectations".

Investment group Hastings has a range of airports outside Victoria and NSW, toll roads, non-transport infrastructure items and Victoria’s Port of Portland on the assets books of its equity offering, Australian  Infrastructure Fund.

Hunter Development Corporation (HDC) Chairman Paul Broad is sure the deal will boost the region.

"It is also a great example of what can be achieved by recycling assets and is the right thing to do in this instance," Broad says.

"This transaction will underpin the NSW Government’s support for the revitalisation of Newcastle through the injection of $340 million in funding.

"This $340 million, on top of the original $120 million earmarked for the revitalisation program, will be truly transformative and the Government is to be commended for its commitment to the renewal of the region’s capital."

However, given the price gained was much more than anticipated regional and state critics have called for more of the income to be spent in the region.

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