QLD government has no plans to sell further Aurizon shares

 

The Queensland Government has no further plans to sell its stake in Australia's largest coal transporter, Aurizon Holdings.

As The Australian reports, this news follows the Newman government’s decision last week to sell half its shares in the company for $806 million.

The move saw the state’s holdings in Aurizon drop from 18.2 per cent to 8.9 per cent and was intended to help the government win back a AAA credit rating and return the budget to surplus in 2014-2015.

According to State Treasurer Tim Nicholls, "The shares have been sold at a price of $4.03 per share, being a premium to Aurizon's volume-weighted average trading price on Friday and the five and 10-day volume-weighted average trading prices."

The company, which was formerly known as QR National, was floated in 2010 on the Australian Securities Exchange at $2.55.

Given that the government will also receive a 4.1c per share dividend from Aurizon on the shares that have been sold, the transaction represents a $300m gain for Queensland treasury.

"In other words, we have again fulfilled our commitment to achieve the best possible price for the sale of a significant proportion of our remaining shares in Aurizon," Nicholls said.

Nevertheless, Nicholls confirmed that the government intends to retain a stake in Aurizon Holdings.

"While the government will continue to review its residual 8.9 per cent holding in Aurizon, we have no current intention to sell additional shares in the near term," said Nicholls.

 

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