Qube hopes Brookfield deal will end Asciano battle

New joint venture could see Asciano sold in three parts to pass ACCC restrictions

Qube hopes Brookfield deal will end Asciano battle
The Asciano battle may be over with new proposal unveiled.


The Qube consortium and Brookfield Infrastructure and its partners have come to a preliminary and non-binding deal to acquire Asciano for $9.05 billion in a move that could end the ongoing tug-of-war.

Under the all-cash deal, which would see Asciano shareholders receive $9.28 per share by way of a scheme of arrangement, the two companies will divide up Asciano into the Patrick Container Terminals business, the Bulk & Automotive Ports Services businesses, and the Pacific National business.

Qube would, in a 50/50 venture with Brookfield Infrastructure and parts of the Brookfield Consortium, gain the container terminals business.

Brookfield Infrastructure and parts of the Brookfield Consortium would receive the bulk and automotive business, including the 50 per cent stake in Australian Amalgamated Terminals and related shareholder loans – though Qube could subsequently acquire that stake with Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approval.

The third piece of the puzzle, Pacific National, would then fall to Qube's consortium partners - Global Infrastructure Partners, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and China's CIC Capital.

According to a Qube statement, "Qube believes that within the 50/50 joint venture, the Patrick Container Terminals Business would be able to generate synergies consistent with the range previously identified."

While gaining the same positives as previously predicted under its own deal, Qube says it "expects to derive additional benefits from the involvement of Brookfield Infrastructure as a new joint venture partner."

"Brookfield Infrastructure has a significant existing footprint of ports operations, providing an opportunity for the Patrick Container Terminals Business to benefit from their scale with international clients."

Qube managing director Maurice James says the deal "would deliver the best result for all stakeholders."

"Asciano shareholders would receive cash for their company, Qube would add container terminals to its business and partner with a major infrastructure player and the consortia investors would obtain exposure to world class rail and port infrastructure," he says.

"Brookfield Infrastructure is on-board with implementing initiatives to improve operational efficiency and financial performance at the Patrick Container Terminals Business."

Qube says should the new deal not come to fruition, it will continue with the proposal unanimously recommended by the Asciano board earlier this month.



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