Australian logistics takeover saga takes new twist with Qube's Asciano stake

Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:41am EDT
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* Qube, partners buy 19.99 pct stake late Thursday

* Qube wants Asciano ports, partners want Asciano rail

* Brookfield bid looks in doubt after Qube buy

* Investor expects some form of takeover

* Qube is run by former Asciano ports chief (.)

By Byron Kaye

SYDNEY, Oct 30 (Reuters) - The dulled prospect of a takeover of Australian ports and rail operator Asciano Ltd were revived on Friday after local rival Qube Holdings Ltd and partners revealed they had bought a one-fifth stake and wanted to buy Asciano assets.

The anti-monopoly regulator this month cast doubt on a $6.5 billion takeover by Canada's Brookfield Asset Management Inc after saying competition could be threatened by Brookfield already owning railways Asciano's trains run on.

That deal looks less likely now Qube and partners own 19.99 percent of Asciano. The amount is short of the 20 percent that would trigger a compulsory takeover offer, but means Qube needs little support from other shareholders to reach the 25 percent of votes required to block the deal, which it said it opposes.   Continued...