Asciano, split off from the original Toll Group due to ACCC considerations after the long and bitter struggle leading to the purchase of Patrick is the subject of a takeover bid. Various reports suggest Canadian infrastructure specialist, Brookfield, is willing to pay between $8.8 billion for the asset rich transport operator.
This move follows the takeover of Toll by Japan Post, for $6.5 billion, earlier this year. Brookfield is Canada’s largest infrastructure company and already has a substantial Australian business, consisting of 5,500 km of railway in Western Australia. It has also recently been involved in the purchase of Apache’s oil and gas exploration and production business in Australia.
The price offered amounts to a 36 per cent premium over the valuation derived from Asciano’s current share price before news of the proposed bid broke. The company have been investing heavily in the past few years in response to freight volumes decreasing due to the slowing of the resources industry. The company is coming close to the end of a five year restructuring process instigated by CEO, John Mullen.
This deal mean the Toll transport business, built by Paul Little, alongside Peter Rowsthorn and his son Mark, coupled with the Patrick business built by Chris Corrigan, will be selling this year for a combined total of over $15 billion.