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University welcomes A-G’s Report on Melbourne IT float

Media Release, Thursday 1 June 2000

The University of Melbourne and the Board of its commercial arm, Melbourne Enterprises International (MEI) Limited, welcomed today’s Auditor-General’s report on the float of Melbourne IT, confirming that the float had been carried out properly. Most importantly, it recognised that the University had achieved a return of $130 million on its original investment of $350,000.

The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Gilbert, said the decision to sell Melbourne IT by a public float was intended to maximize value to the ultimate shareholder, the University. "The return of $130million on our investment of $350,000 is a stunning result," he said.

The proceeds of the sale will be used to develop world-class medical research and development for Melbourne and to strengthen the University’s already substantial commitment to regional Victoria through the development of a University Centre in the Goulburn Valley.

Mr David Lloyd, Managing Director of MEI Ltd, said the float – the first of its kind by an Australian university – had achieved exceptional outcomes. "We have worked with the Auditor-General throughout the float process, his office signed off the prospectus, and we sought and obtained the best expert commercial and legal advice available to guide the valuation. This obtained an excellent result for the University. We are more than happy to share the experiences highlighted in the report across the tertiary education sector."

Melbourne IT was floated in December 1999. Through MEI Ltd, the University of Melbourne received a return of $79 million from the float and retains a 15 per cent stake now valued at some $50 million

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