The privatisation of Forestry Plantations Queensland has been finalised with the help of Gilbert + Tobin and Mallesons
Hancock Queensland Plantations, advised by Mallesons, obtained the rights to a 99-year licence on the timber plantation business for $603 million.
Gilbert + Tobin acted for a bank syndicate, including the National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Rabobank, as the financiers of the successful bid by Hancock.
G+T banking and finance partner John Schembri said that "we [Gilbert + Tobin] see privatisations as a strong growth area as Governments revaluate their balance sheet and business portfolio".
The Queensland Treasurer, Andrew Fraser, said the sale was "great news" for Queensland taxpayers.
The sale of Forestry Plantations is the first step in a larger privatisation process by the Queensland Government. Premier Anna Bligh also plans to sell Queensland Rail's coal and bulk freight operations and lease a number of state owned enterprises, including Queensland Motorways.
The deal was completed in an environment of opposition from both the Queensland Liberal National Party and unions who, in a rare move, united in an attempt to stop the sale.
Last month Premier Bligh told the ALP State Conference that the privatisation process was needed to recoup an estimated $14 billion in lost earnings over the course of the global financial crisis.
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