First State Super has beaten out Macquarie to acquire the Victoria land titles and registry office, pouring $2.86 billion into the state’s coffers.
An expression of interest campaign for the privatisation of the land titles registry was issued in March, with Australia’s Macquarie Group, superannuation fund Cbus and Hong Kong-based multinational conglomerate CK Holdings reportedly flagging interest.
First State Super, which is invested in Sydney’s $2.1 billion light rail project and has more than $63 billion in funds under management also picked up the New South Wales land titles registry along with Hastings Funds Management for $2.6 billion in 2017.
First State will be responsible for the commercialised land registry functions and transactions for a 40-year term, with the Victorian government retaining control over prices for the land registry service.
Treasure Tim Pallas made the announcement on Monday and said that the $2.86 billion cash windfall will be used to fund new schools, hospital and transport infrastructure.
“This is an outstanding result and another vote of confidence in the Victorian economy, one that will deliver a major boost to our already unprecedented investment in schools, hospitals, road and rail,” Pallas said.
First State Super chief executive Michael Dwyer said that the super fund has 180,000 members in Victoria.
“We also have a number of significant investments in the state including agriculture, commercial property and infrastructure such as the new Bendigo Hospital,” Dwyer said.
“We see land registries as critical economic infrastructure with strong investment fundamentals.”
The $2.86 billion cash boost comes just three months out from Victoria’s state election in November.