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Australia: ACCC raises fresh questions over $9 billion Asciano deal

 |  April 3, 2016

The competition watchdog has questioned the commercial relationships between Qube, Brookfield Infrastructure and six international investment funds after starting a new review of the $9.05 billion Asciano takeover.

Asciano’s board has recommended that investors accept a takeover bid worth $9.28 a share that would split Asciano into three parts, with separate consortiums acquiring the company’s rail, ports and bulk and automotive ports services (BAPS) businesses.

The joint takeover bid led by Qube and Brookfield, which ended a nine-month takeover battle between the two groups for Asciano, is designed to address the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) previous concerns over an earlier proposal from Brookfield to acquire all of Asciano. The ACCC warned last year that it was unhappy with the Canadian group’s initial plan to combine its WA rail track operations with Pacific National’s rail haulage operations to create a vertically-integrated rail business.

The regulator has now revealed it has concerns over the cross-ownership stakes between some of the consortium partners in the proposed new joint takeover bid.

Full content: The Sydney Morning Herald

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