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SYDNEY, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Consortiums led by Canada's Brookfield Asset Management Inc and Australia's Qube Holdings are considering joining forces to bid for Asciano Ltd, the Australian port and rail giant said on Tuesday.
A new deal would deliver a higher value to Asciano shareholders and speed up approval from the competition watchdog, the two bidding parties said in separate letters to the Asciano board.
The discussions remained preliminary, non-binding and there was no formal agreement yet, leading Asciano to continue to recommend Qube's A$9.01 billion ($6.51 billion) offer.
Asciano dumped an A$8.9 billion bid from Brookfield last week after Qube revised its offer higher. ($1 = 1.3839 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Stephen Coates)