Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management on 18 August clinched an AUD8.9 billion (USD6.5 billion) takeover of the last remaining Australian-owned port and rail network, Asciano.
Asciano, which owns and operates Patrick container terminals in Brisbane, Fremantle, Melbourne, and Sydney, called for a trading halt on 18 August to announce the infrastructure Scheme Implementation Deed with Brookfield.
“Asciano directors unanimously recommend the transition in the absence of a superior proposal,” the company said in a statement.
The company was earlier reported to have been in talks with China Merchants, however, a spokesperson would not confirm negotiations with any specific company when contacted by IHS Maritime.
The infrastructure group led by Brookfield includes Canadian pension British Columbia Investment Management Corporation and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC.
Brookfield Infrastructure CEO Sam Pollock said in a statement, “Commingling Asciano’s Australian container terminals with our existing assets in North America and Europe proves the foundation for a global container platform.”
The takeover comes on the same day that Asciano reported an AUD354.4 million, or 41.4%, rise in net profit.
“Strong coal volumes and above-market container growth offset by weakness in other areas,” according to its financial year 2015 annual report.
It’s Patrick port business reported terminal lifts were up 2.7% with revenue at container terminal rising 3.7%.
Patrick’s market share of Australia’s container trade was 47.9%, mostly focused in Brisbane, East Swanson Dock, Fishermen Island, Fremantle, and Melbourne.
Port Botany volumes suffered due to disruptions arising from work on the new automated terminal.
Capital expenditure rose 34.8% including the Patrick Marine facility in Dampier.
Patrick Stevedores operates in 40 locations throughout Australia and New Zealand, including bulk and general terminals.
The Brookfield takeover is subject to Asciano shareholder’s approval and approvals of Australian competition and foreign investment watchdogs.