BAIRD AND BEREJIKLIAN’S FLAWED CLOSED BID SALE OF AUSGRID ROBS TAXPAYERS OF $1 BILLION-PLUS

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The failure to run a competitive auction of Ausgrid has robbed the people of NSW of over $1 billion of value.

Premier Mike Baird and Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian ignored their own Unsolicited Proposals guidelines which rules out using the process for asset sales.

The abuse of the Unsolicited Proposals process means the Ausgrid sale was not subjected to a competitive sale process.

No one will ever really know the maximum amount the market would have paid for 50.4 per cent of Ausgrid because the NSW Government failed to run an auction.

Further in Question Time today in the NSW Parliament the Treasurer refused to reveal the multiple of the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) it achieved in the sale.

We know the Government achieved a multiple of 1.6 times the RAB for the sale of Transgrid, yet analysts estimate it has received a multiple of between 1.3 and 1.4 times the RAB for Ausgrid.

The result of the Government’s insistence on dealing exclusively with only one bidder, rather than allowing the market to determine the price, is a loss of $1 billion of more in proceeds.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“This was a scandalously inappropriate process of a closed bid. The Government has sold Ausgrid for over a $1 billion less than they should have received for it because they didn’t run a competitive process.

“Mike Baird claims that doing deals is his stock in trade and yet he has sold this incredibly lucrative monopoly asset to the first bidder who knocked on his door.”

“It’s not what the Government has received but what it hasn’t received that’s in question. We will never know because this Government gagged the market and ran a closed bid.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park

“This Government has short changed the people of NSW to the tune of at least $1 billion by doing a one-off deal with an exclusive buyer.

“The people of NSW have got less than they should have because the Premier and his Treasurer have acted like a distressed buyer and rushed this process through.”