UPDATE 2-Fight for Australia's Asciano intensifies with Qube's $6.3 bln offer

Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:16am EST
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* Qube offer worth A$9.25 per share

* Brookfield Asset Management bid worth A$9.22 per share

* Competition regulator has flagged may block deal with Brookfield

* Qube says its bid unlikely to raise regulatory concerns (Recasts, adds Asciano and analyst comments)

By Byron Kaye and Swati Pandey

SYDNEY, Nov 10 (Reuters) - The battle for Australian stevedoring and rail giant Asciano Ltd escalated on Tuesday after ports firm Qube Holdings Ltd made a $6.3 billion offer that narrowly beats a rival bid and is expected to draw less concern from antitrust regulators.

Qube, led by Chris Corrigan who ran Asciano's port unit for 16 years, made an informal cash and scrip offer worth A$9.25 per share, a day after Asciano endorsed a similar bid from Canada's Brookfield Asset Management worth A$9.22.

The war has seen both Brookfield and Qube dig in their heels by taking one fifth of Asciano each and much will hinge on whether Asciano allows Qube to do due diligence or pursue a buyout that Australia's competition regulator has already flagged it may block.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has said it could oppose a full Brookfield takeover as the Canadian firm owns the rail tracks Asciano's freight trains run on.   Continued...