Macquarie consortium to buy part Western Australian land registry
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) has led a consortium, including two industry superannuation funds, to buy part of the Western Australian land registry business for A$1.41bn (€875m).
The Western Australian state government selected the consortium, known as The Land Services WA (LSWA), to become the service provider for partial commercialisation of Landgate’s automated land titling, plan and associated services.
LSWA comprises MIRA, a MIRA-managed fund, Sunsuper and Health Employees Superannuation Trust Australia (HESTA).
It is thought that MIRA and its fund will have a majority stake, Sunsuper 30% and HESTA a 15% interest.
Under the terms of the agreement, LSWA will provide, maintain and improve the systems and processes that facilitate automated land titling services to Landgate over a 40-year period.
Manual titling transaction processing will continue to be provided by Landgate, which will also have oversight of LSWA, the Western Australian government said. Landgate will remain a WA State Government statutory authority to provide all aspects of customer service.
MIRA’s head of Asia-Pacific, Frank Kwok, said: “Land title registry services are an important enabler of economic activity for the state and a source of protection and certainty for property owners.
“In being named the new operator of the automated component of Landgate’s services, we recognise our responsibilities to the state and the community.”
Michael Weaver, Sunsuper head of private markets, said: “Our focus is on ensuring that Landgate’s stakeholders can continue to have confidence in the services they receive.
“As we transition Landgate’s automated titling services to LSWA, we are dedicated to ensuring it is business as usual for Landgate.”
Andrew Major, HESTA’s general manager Unlisted Assets, said LSWA consortium members already had a strong presence in Western Australia and an understanding of the local economy through investments in a diverse range of sectors.
Australian state-owned land registries have been keenly sought-after as they are privatised.
MIRA, Sunsuper and a Canadian partner, PSP Investments, in 2017 paid A$1.05bn to run the land registry of South Australia, while First State Super paid A$2.86bn for the Victorian land registry business last year.
First State Super is also co-owner of the NSW land registry, purchased for A$2.6bn in 2016.