Qube to snap up port haulage firm Chalmers

Terminals and logistics giant offers bid valued at $60 million

Qube to snap up port haulage firm Chalmers
Chalmers backs conditionally the Qube bid


Qube Logistics is offering to buy container haulage and logistics firm Chalmers, pricing the deal at about $60 million.

The offer to Chalmers shareholders, which has support from that company’s board, is either 2.31 Qube shares for each Chalmers share or $6.50 cash.

Industry observers note that, given the value of Chalmers’ Melbourne land holdings, thought to be in the region of $40 million, the move represents good business for Qube.

"The offer provides an opportunity for Chalmers shareholders to obtain liquidity for their shares at an attractive premium," Qube MD Maurice James says.

"The structure of the offer enables Chalmers shareholders to elect to cash out their Chalmers shares or, by electing the scrip option, to share in the growth of the Qube Group."

Qube views Chalmers’ operations as complementary to its own and the move as allowing Qube to help realise its growth plans and gain savings through "greater efficiencies and economies of scale".

Before revealing the bid, Qube secured 19.9 per cent of its target from major shareholder Alljet Investments, a Lindsay Fox investment vehicle which had built up its Chalmers holding along with a K&S Corporation stake, in 2016.

This occurred at the same time Qube itself gained a 4 per cent hold on Chalmers.

Read how the Qube and Fox began investing in Chalmers, here

Chalmers board accepts the bid unless a better one emerges.

"The offer represents attractive value for Chalmers shareholders," chairman Graham Mulligan says.

"The directors of Chalmers intend to unanimously recommend that Chalmers shareholders accept [Qube’s] off-market takeover offer for all the ordinary shares in Chalmers, in the absence of a superior proposal."

More details will be revealed in a bidder’s statement, to be lodged with authorities and the stock exchange on July 1.

The offer remains open for a month.

It move comes as Chalmers, in common with many port services firms, has been struggling with significant business cost inflation related to port operator and stevedoring charges and changed shipping-line containers de-hire practices, plus the effects of the drought.  

Qube has been busy and acquisitive recently, having bought mining and infrastructure services company LCR Group in May, linked with Western Australia’s Intermodal Group (IMG) in April and bought Maritime Container Services (MCS) 18 months ago.



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