The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday reported the announcement by the NSW Treasurer that the sales process for the privatisation of the three State-owned electricity and gas retailers (EnergyAustralia, Integral Energy and Country Energy) had been put on hold. However, the Treasurer suggested that the delay was only short-term and that the sale was on track to complete by the end of this year. You can read the Treasurer’s well crafted media release on the Treasury NSW website. The opposition seized on the announcement, claiming that the sales process was dead at least until after the next election.
Apparently there have been concerns raised by the various parties bidding for these electricity assets around the complexity of the deal being offered by the Government. Yesterday’s announcement will only frustrate these bidders further given the significant effort they have already invested in the process.
We should know in June or July whether the sales process will be re-started and if significant changes have been necessary to address bidders’ concerns. Who said electricity was dull?