A massive bid of A$9.05billion could be launched as soon as tomorrow (Thursday) as a Canadian asset management company attempts to secure an Australian giant.
Brookfield Asset Management
wants to take control of Australian port and rail giant Asciano Ltd and is expected to raise its bid with pension fund PSP Investment and the Qatar Investment Authority, according to a Reuters
Asciano had rejected an original stand-alone bid from Brookfield said to be in the region of A$8.9billion and favoured a bid from a fellow Australian company, Qube Holdings, said to be worth A$9billion. This change in preference came some seven months after originally endorsing a cash and scrip offer from Brookfield.
However, sources have claimed that Brookfield will now go back and raise its offer from A$9.10 per share to A$9.28 per share for the country’s biggest rail freight network, which currently has ports in every state.
It is hoped that the arrival of the sovereign wealth fund from Qatar will provide the extra leverage that Brookfield needs to pass scrutiny from the Australia Foreign Investment Review Board. The latter is obliged to clear buyouts of Australian companies from offshore investments.
According to the report, Brookfield had always intended to allow its original binding offer to lapse by February 17 so that it could launch an improved cash offer with new partners.