A Transurban-led consortium will take control of WestConnex after spending $11.1 billion to secure the 49 per cent stake.
New South Wales Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said Sydney Transport Partners had been the successful bidder for the two 24.5 per cent stakes in Australia’s largest toll road project.
Sydney Transport Partners bought a 51 per cent stake in the asset in 2018 for $9.26 billion, and now wholly controls WestConnex.
Perrottet said the government had received more than $20 billion in the transaction for the WestConnex project as part of an asset recycling strategy.
“This transaction continues our successful asset recycling strategy, which has been the cornerstone of our record $108.5-billion infrastructure pipeline that has built and upgraded schools, hospitals, road and rail across the State,” Perrottet said.
“This sale is part of our prudent, long-term strategy to bolster the state’s finances, while also supporting the NSW economy by investing in job creating projects that will drive our Covid economic recovery.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a $5 billion WestInvest Fund to build infrastructure across western and south-western Sydney, funded through the asset recycling program.
About $3bn has been earmarked for projects across parks, community infrastructure, local schools, arts facilities, revitalising high streets, and clearing local traffic.
Berejiklian said the remaining $2bn would be reserved for high priority projects identified in community consultation.
The Sydney Transport Partners consortium also includes Australian Super and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
The sale of WestConnex was structured as a two-part process to achieve the greatest return, with net proceeds of the sale to be invested in the NSW Generation Fund, a sovereign wealth fund.
Perrottet said the initial sale of the 51 per cent stake had helped to fund the final stage of WestConnex’s construction, and that the road network had slashed travel time for motorists.
“Additionally the project has created tens of thousands of jobs while transforming Sydney’s road network and through our asset recycling approach has allowed us to invest billions back into the State’s future,” he said.
Transurban is expected to undergo an equity raising campaign in the near future to pay for the acquisition. The consortium already runs 15 of the 19 toll roads nationwide.
Sydney's western suburbs are in line for $139 million in Accelerated Infrastructure Funding according to Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes.
“Delivering important infrastructure such as roads, stormwater drains and public space is key to our economic recovery and the second round of the AIF brings the NSW government’s support to more than $210 million,” Stokes said.
Councils will be allocated funding according to anticipated growth in each local government area, the amount of development the funding will support and the amount of co-funding that councils can provide.
All projects must commence construction within two years to qualify for funding.