Asciano’s board is expected to recommend a takeover bid worth around $9 billion from suitor Brookfield Infrastructure Partners when the ports and rail group reports its annual results today. The offer has an implied value of about A$9.15 a share. Australian infrastructure assets are attracting particular interest from investors eager to exploit the world’s sharpening focus on building transport networks to facilitate trade-driven by such developments as the creation of an Asian infrastructure bank.
Earlier this year, Asciano’s former parent company, Toll Holdings, agreed to a A$6.5 billion takeover by Japan Post Holdings Co Ltd (IPO-JAPP.T).
The Bermuda-based affiliate of Brookfield Asset Management would own 55 per cent of Asciano with an investment of US$2.8 billion, or about C$3.67 billion at current exchange rates.
What: Asciano Ltd (ASX: AIO) has entered a trading halt before the start of trade on Monday morning.
Asciano operates Patrick, a stevedoring business, at ports including Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, according to its website.
As per terms of the proposed transaction, Asciano shareholders making a “standard” mix and match election, will receive A$6.94 in cash and 0.0387 Brookfield Infrastructure limited partnership units or BIP units. The transaction would be the group’s largest in Australia, exceeding the A$4.8-billion that Brookfield Asset Management Inc. paid in 2007 for Multiplex Group, the builder of London’s Wembley Stadium.
Analysts said Aurizon could acquire some of Pacific National’s rail assets if Brookfield succeeds in buying Asciano and sells off parts of the business. It owns the Westnet rail business in Western Australia state and controls the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal in Queensland.