QUBE takes near 20 pct stake in Asciano, eyes Brookfield block

Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:45am EDT
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MELBOURNE Oct 29 (Reuters) - Australia's Qube Holdings Ltd , a logistics services provider, has taken a near 20 percent stake in freight firm Asciano Ltd, potentially blocking a bid from a large Canadian rival, a source familiar with the transaction said on Thursday.

"(QUBE has) acquired just short of 20 percent of Asciano," the source told Reuters, adding that the new stakeholder intended to vote against the proposed takeover.

Canada's Brookfield Asset Management had planned a $6.5 billion dollar buyout, which would be the largest-ever purchase of an Australian firm by a Canadian company and Australia's biggest inbound deal since 2011.

Since the company requires 75 percent of shareholders to vote in favour of the takeover, QUBE's new holding was essentially a blocking stake, the person said.

Australia's competition regulator also raised antitrust concerns earlier this month because the deal would have given to Brookfield Asciano's rail network and train operations in two of the country's eight states.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had said it would give a final ruling by Dec. 17.

QUBE traded last up 0.5 percent at AUD $2.20 a share on Australia's ASX exchange while Asciano traded flat at AUD$7.56. (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)