Qube consolidates shareholding after adding Mackenzie

Purchases see presence in Adelaide strengthened and total control gained in Sydney assets

By Rob McKay | June 3, 2011

Qube Logistics is expected to rebrand its P&O Trans Australia (POTA) subsidiary.

It is likely to take the Qube name but the final outcome is yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, Qube says today it will buy Kawasaki Australia’s remaining shareholding in its automotive, bulk and general stevedoring division, POAGS, along with Kawasaki’s Minto Properties shareholding, while parting with $14.82 million.

Qube has already agreed to take Wilh. Whilhelmsen Holdings shares.

The transactions will give Qube full control of POAGS and the land planned to host an inland intermodal terminal at Minto, in Sydney’s south, close to the Southern Sydney Freight Line.

The rebranding exercise will rope in POTA’s new acquisition South Australian transport and logistics firm Mackenzie Intermodal Group.

POTA, Qube’s port logistics division reached agreement to acquire Mackenzie, a South Australian integrated transport business, on May 25, a mere four months after it bought similar Queensland firm Troncs Transport Solutions.

Mackenzie bring with it nine prime movers including B-doubles working between Adelaide and Melbourne, along with 12 prime movers including for intra-South Australian freight.

The transaction will be finalised within the next two months.

P&O Trans Managing Director Paul Digney says the acquisition is "an exciting opportunity to further grow the POTA/Qube presence in South Australia".

"POTA is committed to developing regional hubs across Australia that are linked to the major container ports, the Mackenzie regional facilities in Murray Bridge, Bordertown and Hynam will be a welcome addition to the POTA’s logistics network," Digney says.

"Furthermore, the Adelaide facility is a world class facility within close proximity to the Adelaide Ocean Terminal and direct rail access to the site."

Mackenzie owner and director Lynton Mackenzie will leave the business to pursue other interests outside of the logistics industry.

"I am very excited for the staff and customers of Mackenzie Intermodal, POTA offers a great opportunity for all parties to be part of a growing national logistics business," Mackenzie says.

But Demi Cassiani, the Chief Executive of Mackenzie Intermodal and Mackenzie Hillebrand, a joint venture with international beverages logistics firm JF Hillebrand, will stay.

Qube Director David Knight insists it will be ‘business as usual’ with Cassiani at the helm of this part of the South Australian operation, despite the former owner’s decision to leave.

"Mackenzies has a very, very strategic position in [Adelaide’s] Outer Harbour," Knight says.

They’ve got the rail siding, they’ve got the direct access into the DP World terminal fed by the straddle carrier, they’ve got the container park and warehouse on site.

"In our view it ticked all the boxes in terms of the strategic location.

"This is a good business.

"We’re not coming in because it’s broken."

He says Qube is "quite comfortable" with POTA’s positions in Perth and Brisbane.

Though it was happy to settle for organic growth, it would pick up bolt-on acquisitions if opportunities arose.

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