(EnergyAsia, April 4 2013, Thursday) — The Queensland state government has confirmed that it plans to sell nearly half its stake in Australia’s rail-based coal transporter Aurizon Holdings for around A$806 million. (US$1=A$0.96).

The state government’s Treasurer and trade minister Tim Nicholls said it will sell 200 million shares to domestic and international institutional and sophisticated investors at A$4.03 each to help pay down debt, reducing its 18.2% stake in the company to 8.9%

“The A$806 million sale represents a gain of around A$300 million to Queensland’s bottom line since the company’s initial public offer,” said Mr Nicolls. The government of Premier Campbell Newman is aiming to win back the state’s AAA credit rating and return the budget to surplus by 2015.

For now, Mr Nicolls said the government has no plans to sell off the remaining 8.9% stake.