Asciano considers sale of Patrick, coal assets


Debt-laden Asciano could sell its coal or container ports business, or sell out completely

Asciano considers sale of Patrick, coal assets
Asciano considers sale of Patrick, coal assets
Debt-laden Asciano could sell its coal or container ports business, or sell out completely, the company says.

Asciano, the parent company of rail operator Pacific National and stevedore Patrick, says it is exploring a number of "strategic initiatives" as it strains under the weight of a bottomed-out share price and ongoing debt issues.

A proposal for the sale of 100 percent of either the coal or container ports business is currently on the table, the company has announced, along with other proposals regarding "other assets and businesses".

The company is also considering "transactions that would result in a change of control and/or a recapitalisation of the Group".

Asciano says it is responding to "multiple" expressions of interest and proposals from "a range of industry and financial parties".

"Proposals will be assessed based on delivering the maximum value to all securityholders," the statement reads.

"Asciano’s objective remains to announce a transaction by the end of the current financial year."

At its half-year results, the Toll Holdings offshoot signaled it would move beyond the coal business as part of its monetisation process.

Shares in Asciano climbed 25 percent to 80 cents in morning trade on the back of the announcement, but the price has dipped below 50 cents over the past few weeks.

ABN AMRO and Lazard Carnegie Whlie have been appointed to advise Asciano on any transactions.

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook