Minter Ellison, Allens Arthur Robinson and Mallesons Stephen Jaques have acted on the Queensland Government's $2.3 billion sale of the Port of Brisbane to the Q Port Holdings Consortium.
Under the deal, a Consortium comprising Industry Funds Management (IFM), Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) and Global Infrastructure Partners - which was advised by Allens and Mallesons - acquired a 99-year lease over the Port.
The sale delivers $2.1 billion in cash proceeds to the State of Queensland, advised by Minter Ellison, and the new owner has agreed to fund the future upgrade of section three of the Port of Brisbane Motorway, at an estimated cost of $200 million.
Collectively, the consortium has interests in port terminals across eight countries.
Under the agreement, the state will retain ownership of the port land and key port infrastructure but will transfer operating risk to the private sector.
The Queensland Government also retains the role of Harbour Master through Maritime Safety Queensland and continues its responsibilities in relation to safety, security and the movement of ships within the Moreton Bay shipping channel and Brisbane River.
Two of the four consortium members, namely IFM and QIC, are also shareholders in the adjacent Brisbane Airport.
The Minters team was led by partner Andrew Rentoul, who said of the deal: "This is the first time in Australia that a large general-cargo port has been privatised. The Port of Brisbane is the third-largest port in Australia.
"This milestone transaction provides $2.3 billion value to the State of Queensland and significant future savings for the State."
The Mallesons team was led by partners Jeff Clark and David Bell. Clark said of the deal: "The statutory and contractual framework in which the Port operates meant that this would always be a complex acquisition. However, the strength and quality of the Consortium and the lender syndicate allowed the issues to be analysed and understood so that a competitive bid could be delivered to the State."
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