Land title management is about 80 per cent of Landgate's revenue.

Investec picked for Landgate privatisation

Tuesday, 28 August, 2018 - 14:18

The state government has chosen Investec to advise on the partial privatisation of Landgate, a day after the agency's Victorian equivalent sold for $2.9 billion.

In June, the government announced its intention to lease-out Landgate’s automated titling functions, while keeping property valuation and location information in house.

The privatisation was expected to raise at least $640 million, which was to go towards the state government’s contribution for the National Redress Scheme for child sex abuse survivors.

Investec had been an adviser on that initial decision.

Today’s announcement means Investec will act as commercial adviser, develop the transaction structure and marketing, and manage the process for selecting an operator.

It will also be reviewing options for Landgate’s subsidiary, Advara, an information technology business in which Landgate holds a 78 per cent stake. 

Consultancy Ajilon holds a 22 per cent slice of Advira, while former Landgate chief executive Mike Bradford is now running Advira.

“The partial commercialisation represents a unique opportunity in the land registry sector,” Treasurer Ben Wyatt said. 

“While it is vital that its value is fully realised, of equal importance will be the continued protections and rights of the public.”

Lands Minister Rita Saffioti referred to the deal as a partial commercialisation, rather than a privatisation.

Three other states have also privatised land registry in deals structured similarly to Western Australia’s planned option.

The most recent was Victoria, which yesterday revealed its database of property ownership, Land Use Victoria, had been sold in a $2.9 billion deal to the Victorian Land Registry Services consortium.

That was backed by fund manager First State Super.

NSW privatised its Land and Property Information business in 2017.

The deal fetched $2.6 billion, with First State Super and Advara part of the consortium. 

The earnings multiple was about 20.

In August 2017, South Australia’s land registry unit was privatised in a $1.6 billion deal, where Investec was also an adviser.