April 18, 2016 / 4:11 AM / 2 years ago

Australia funds lead 3 consortia bids in $4.1 bln Port of Melbourne sale - sources

SYDNEY, April 18 (Reuters) - Three consortia of Australian and international funds have submitted bids for a 50-year lease of the Port of Melbourne, Australia’s biggest shipping container terminal, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The state government of Victoria aims to raise at least A$5.3 billion ($4.1 billion) before the end of 2016 in a privatisation it launched last month.

Australian bank Macquarie Group’s Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets fund has teamed up with domestic infrastructure fund IFM Investors and Dutch pension fund APG in one of the bidding groups, the people said, declining to be identified because the matter was confidential.

Another joint bid was submitted by Australian fund QIC and Canada’s Borealis Infrastructure Trust, the people said. A third consortium consisted of Australian fund Hastings with Kuwait’s Wren House, they said.

QIC and Hastings declined to comment, while officials at Macquarie and IFM were not immediately available to comment. Borealis, APG and Wren House didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment outside their normal business hours.

A spokesman for the Victorian state treasurer was not available for comment immediately.

Morgan Stanley and Flagstaff Partners were advising the Victorian government on the sale. ($1 = 1.3036 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Swati Pandey and Byron Kaye; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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