WA's Landgate is for sale, but may not reach a price as high as the Victorian equivalent.

$2.9bn for Victorian land registry

Monday, 27 August, 2018 - 15:56

The Victorian government has sealed a $2.86 billion deal to lease that state’s land registry for 40 years, giving an idea of how much Western Australia’s government may expect from a similar, but smaller, privatisation under way locally.

The Victorian Land Registry Services consortium, backed by First State Superannuation, won the bid for Land Use Victoria, which maintains the state’s database of property transactions and deals.

First State also bought into the privatisation of New South Wales’ Land and Property Information service, a $2.6 billion deal announced last year with an earnings multiple of about 20.

South Australia leased its land registry unit in a $1.6 billion deal in August 2017.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said it was an outstanding result.

“This is... 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,” Mr Pallas said.

MinterEllison advised the state government on the bid, while Allens advised the winner.

The WA state government announced in June it would privatise some Landgate services in a deal worth at least $640 million to fund the state’s share of cash for the National Redress Scheme for child abuse survivors.

Landgate’s automated land titling service will be leased as part of the deal, although there will be restrictions on pricing for the new owner.

The entity will still be ultimately owned by the government.

The WA government appointed investment bank Investec as commercial adviser for a potential sale in February of this year.

To put it all in context, Langate revenue was $111.4 million in the 2017 financial year, and about $88.4 million came from land title management fees.

About $21.4 million came from valuation services, which will continue to be under government control, while the agency overall made a $6 million loss before state government subsidies and grants were considered.