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LOGISTICS group Toll Holdings Ltd is confident that a $285 million acquisition of Victorian rail operator Freight Australia will proceed despite an objection to the competition watchdog from trucking magnate Mr Lindsay Fox.
Pacific National, the rail company jointly owned by Toll and stevedore Patrick Corp Ltd, reached agreement to buy Freight Australia from RailAmerica Inc in March.
Freight Australia principally hauls grain in Victoria and provides rail track infrastructure services.
The acquisition is subject to approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Victorian Government.
Mr Fox said his company, Linfox, objected to the deal on the grounds there should not be a total monopoly on the rail system in Australia.
Toll managing director Mr Paul Little said yesterday he was not concerned about the Linfox submission to the commission.
“It really is of no relevance to us,” Mr Little said.
“I dont believe the commission will make a call based on how they (Linfox) see the issues.”
Mr Little said Pacific National would not get a monopoly over rail in Australia.
“The Victorian rail assets of Freight Australia are essentially a rural bulk asset,” he said.
“Eighty per cent of the income received by the Victorian rail business is carting bulk grain and it is on the broad gauge network,” he said.
“It really has nothing to do with the interstate network at all.”
Mr Little said he expected the commission to make its decision in the next week or two.
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