SYDNEY, July 21 (Reuters) - Australia’s antitrust watchdog on Thursday gave the green light to a A$9.1 billion ($6.79 billion) buyout of rail freight giant Asciano Ltd by a global consortium led by Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc.
Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had been concerned the deal would give Asciano’s new owners, which include Australian stevedoring company Qube Holdings Ltd , too much control of the freight market.
But ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement that the regulator had concluded there was “not likely to be a substantial lessening of competition in any market” after the deal was restructured to address officials’ concerns.
The deal must still be approved by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board.
Asciano shareholders in June voted in favour of the buyout.
$1 = 1.3399 Australian dollars Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Stephen Coates