Wallenius Wilhelmsen sells major Australian port

Settlement of the Port Melbourne property is expected next quarter.

Australia’s largest logistics provider, Qube Holdings, has bought the landmark Melbourne International RoRo & Auto Terminal at Webb Dock, Port Melbourne.

The deal with Wallenius Wilhelmsen, which has an ownership stake in Qube, is worth $332.5 million ex stamp duty and other costs.

The buyer will rely on undrawn debt to fund it.

The deal hinges on approvals by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Port of Melbourne; if these come in, Qube is anticipating settlement in July or shortly after.

It would then be held by a wholly owned subsidiary: Australian Amalgamated Terminals Pty Ltd (AAT).

The asset would also be rebranded, bringing it in line with other Qube/AAT investments of this type at Port Kembla, New South Wales, and Queensland’s Fisherman Island.

Wallenius Wilhemsen will stay on as a client.

The buyer said the business is expected to continue to benefit from growing imported car volumes, generally linked to population growth and vehicle turnover.

“This is a business Qube knows well, recognising that MIRRAT shares a common underlying customer base with AAT,” Qube managing director, Paul Digney, said.

AAT Port Melbourne

Wallenius Wilhelmsen won a state government contract in 2013 to manage the facility which was completed by the Port of Melbourne the year later (story continues below).

The only dedicated roll-on, roll-off terminal servicing Victoria, it spreads 35 hectares with 14,500 open air car slots, two quarantine car wash bays, three berths and 120 tonne gantry crane.

Some 8000 square metres of hardstand is undercover.

The Green Building Council rates it 6-star.

“As the only dedicated roll-on, roll-off terminal servicing the Victorian market, MIRRAT plays a critical role in the Victorian and national economy [and a] critical role in efficient import and export automotive supply chains,” AAT managing director, Antony Perkins, said.

“We look forward to working closely with the existing MIRRAT staff to deliver an excellent operational performance for the customer base”, he added.

Wallenius Wilhemsen president and chief executive officer, Lasse Kristoffersen, said the sale has been “incredibly successful both commercially and financially”.

“As we continue to develop our integrated offering to customers, we believe the terminal’s independence and open access can be even better developed under a new and independent ownership,” he added.

“The MIRRAT-team has done a great job, developing the only dedicated roll-on, roll-off terminal, building a robust and customer-centric operation serving multiple shipping lines,” according to the executive.

“Wallenius Wilhelmsen remains firm in its commitment to Australia as a critical market for shipping and logistics customers and is continuously looking for opportunities to expand its global integrated logistics offering”.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.