Private equity renews attack on debt-laden Asciano


Private equity group reportedly renews interest in troubled ports and rail operator Asciano

By Samantha Freestone

Private equity has renewed its interest in troubled ports and rail operator Asciano, reportedly making another bid for control.

The Texas Pacific Group (TPG) has bid to purchase $1.25 billion worth of 'convertible notes' in the debt-laden company, according to reports.

The news has TPG and the GE and Credit Suisse-backed Global Infrastructure Partners group making an offer over the phone to Asciano Chairman Tim Poole last Friday.

Poole has officially denied the move but says Asciano is "fully committed to our monetisation process and that's the path we're going down".

Ben Gray, TPG’s Melbourne director, refused to speak to ATN this morning as he was "tied-up in meetings all morning".

Asciano had already rejected a $4.40-a-share takeover attempt by the American monolith earlier this year.

The company’s stock price sits just above $2 per share, failing to inspire the market since the company was created in the wake of the Toll demerger last year.

Competition watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been monitoring any takeover interest since last year.

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