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Bus depots to raise $150m (NZ Bus)

ON THE GO: Infratil is planning to sell or redevelop bus depots owned by subsidiary New Zealand Bus, including turning Wellington's key depot into a residential estate.

Infratil is planning to sell or redevelop bus depots owned by subsidiary New Zealand Bus, including turning Wellington's key depot into a residential estate.

The review is part of an asset divestment programme by the infrastructure investor that is expected to realise between $125 million and $150m in non core asset sales by the end of this year.

Auckland's Fullers Ferries was sold to British-based public transport operator Souter Holdings last week for $40m.

Infratil chief executive Marko Bogoievski said asset sales were part of Infratil's capital management and that the company would not need to raise equity.

Analysts expect the proceeds from sales will go towards reducing Infratil's debt.

A preliminary sketch of the Kilbirnie bus depot redevelopment shows a mixed-use scheme with a residential focus for the 26,000 square metre site.

Infratil executive Tim Brown said the plan was in its early stages.

A resource consent application was expected to be filed in the second half of this year.

The depot could be replaced with several smaller sites around the city to more efficiently co-ordinate the fleet.

The existing depot facilities were "way past their use-by date", Mr Brown said.

Modern buses were larger than those that the depot buildings were originally designed for.

Restricted parking space also meant that buses went out in the order that they were parked, rather than being matched to a route depending on size and demand.

"There will be a real win-win with that particular project because the bus company will end up with a much more efficient depot structure and much newer facilities."

Mr Brown said Infratil owned a significant amount of land, and some of it could be better used.

Three bus depots in Auckland have been put on the market with an expected sale price of between $20m and $25m.

Mr Brown said it was expected that those properties would be sold within about two months.

They would be leased back and continue to be used by Infratil's NZ Bus company.

Another two depots in New Lynn and Mt Roskill would be closed and redeveloped.

The New Lynn bus depot would become a bus interchange as part of a planned transport hub including an underground railway station. A high density commercial and residential development would also be built on the site with a potential total investment of $36m over three years.

A resource consent application was also expected to be filed in the first half of this year to build a proposed $30m, 13,000sqm neighbourhood retail centre on the existing Mt Roskill bus depot.

The Dominion Post

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/2331946/Bus-depots-to-raise-150m

Aslam 23.06.2018 0 178
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