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Fresh from striking a deal last year to buy Glencore’s rail assets for $1.14 billion, Genesee & Wyoming and Macquarie Group appear to be back on the acquisition trail, with the pair short-listed to buy Aurizon’s intermodal business.
Investment bank UBS is selling the $176 million division and has now collated a shortlist of suitors for the asset, with about five groups going into the second round. Final bids are thought to be due around the end of this month.
G&W’s Australian subsidiary, together with Macquarie’s infrastructure arm, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, has been short-listed, as has Qube Holdings, according to sources.
Toll Holdings, which is now controlled by Japan Post, may also be through to the next round.
Qube tapped the market for $350m in cash this week, fuelling suggestions it was positioning itself for the acquisition.
The raising was conducted by UBS, which usually acts as Qube’s adviser, but in order for the competition to buy Aurizon’s operations it may be that Qube seeks advice elsewhere or goes it alone.
Toll typically counts boutique advisory firm Gresham as adviser, while the logical bank for the MIRA and G&W combination to work with would be Macquarie Capital.
However, the US-based G&W was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch when it bought Glencore’s rail coal haulage operation last year.
On offer from Aurizon are freight trains, wagons and several terminals, including one at Enfield in Sydney, the Dynon terminal in Melbourne, Forrestfield in Perth and Acacia Ridge in Brisbane.
Some question whether the loss-making division will be sold as a whole. If prices fall short, Aurizon could retain the operation. However, the aim is to drive down costs and boost overall performance.
This article first appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au
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