SYDNEY: March 15, 2016. After a bidding war lasting nine months, rivals Qube and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners have formed a consortium to acquire the assets of Australian port and rail operator Asciano for A$9 billion. The deal is expected to complete in June 2016 subject to regulatory approval.
As part of the transaction, the two sides will acquire Asciano's Patrick Container Terminals business (below) for A$2.9 billion in a 50/50 joint venture.
Subject to Australian Competition & Consumer Commission review, Qube also has the right to acquire Asciano's 50 percent stake in Australian Amalgamated Terminals (AAT) from Brookfield Infrastructure for A$150 million.
Qube managing director Maurice James said the purchase of Asciano's container terminals business would be transformational: "The acquisition creates significant opportunities for productivity improvement and innovation across the Australian container terminal, logistics and transportation sectors, delivering substantial value for Qube shareholders as well as the broader logistics chain."
The new Qube Holdings partnership comprises Global Infrastructure Management (GIP); the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB); CIC Capital Corporation; Brookfield Infrastructure Partners; GIC Private (GIC); the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).
As part of the transaction, GIP, CPPIB, CIC Capital, GIC and bcIMC will acquire Asciano's Pacific National rail operation, and Brookfield Infrastructure, GIC, bcIMC and QIA will acquire the company's Bulk & Automotive Ports Services (BAPS) business that also includes a 50 percent share in Australian Amalgamated Terminals for a total of A$925 million.
Qube said the transaction - which has been endorsed by the Asciano board - has been structured to address potential competition issues. In particular Brookfield Infrastructure will not acquire any interest in the Pacific National rail business and Qube will not invest in BAPS.
Qube is a provider of logistics services in Australia that includes automotive, landside logistics, bulk and general stevedoring.
Asciano's business includes container terminal operations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth that have a capacity of approximately 4.9 million TEUs; port, terminal and supply chain services; and nationwide rail operations with the capacity to move 180 million tonnes of freight across mineral and bulk haulage, steel and intermodal sectors.