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Melbourne port lease bidders approved

AAP logoAAP 11/08/2016 By Luke Costin

The federal competition watchdog has given a tick of approval to two consortiums bidding to lease Australia's biggest container port for the next 50 years.

IFM Consortium and QIC Consortium are both bidding to run the Port of Melbourne, but also have interests in the Port of Brisbane, Port Botany operator NSW Ports, supply chain operator DP World Australia and other port operations.

"The ACCC has formed the view that neither acquisition would result in a substantial lessening of competition," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement on Thursday.

"No single consortium member will control the port or has a controlling stake in other ports or vertically-related businesses.

"The existence of other significant shareholders in each business limits any potential competitive detriment."

The ACCC also patted the Victorian government on the back for its proposed regulation that will cap many fees and prices for port users for the first 15 years of the lease.

The sale of the lease is expected to raise about $7 billion for the Victorian government.

Global fund manager IFM Investors leads the IFM Consortium.

The private investment arm of a Queensland Government-owned fund manager is leading the QIC Consortium bid.

As the country's biggest container and cargo port, the Port of Melbourne handles 2.6 million containers and is visited by 3000 ships each year.

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