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Stevedore Patrick Corp will form an alliance with FCL Interstate Transport a month after the competition regulator rejected its takeover bid for the freight forwarder.
Patrick said yesterday that the two groups would jointly market combined services to existing and potential customers.
They will develop integrated logistics offerings for warehousing, international freight forwarding, shipping, wharf services, rail forwarding and domestic line-haul services.
The aim is to improve asset utilisation, and combine sourcing of consumables and capital equipment to lower costs.
Patrick said the alliance had an initial term of six months but could be renewed for two further terms of six months.
A spokeswoman for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the regulator would consider the proposed arrangements.
Patrick is the target of a $4.6 billion hostile takeover bid from its Pacific National rail partner, Toll Holdings.
Patrick said an alliance with FCL was unlikely to have a material impact on its financial performance. But it would provide strategic benefits and flexibility in its product offerings.
Patrick Finance will lend FCL as much as $32.5 million for 18 months to refinance its borrowings, and fund its requirements and provide working capital.
Patrick said teaming up with FCL was an important step in the continuing expansion of its freight-forwarding operations.
Patrick and FCL are in discussions to preserve Patrick's ability to acquire FCL's assets and business at a later date, subject to the ACCC's approval.
Patrick shares were steady at $6.53 yesterday while Toll shares fell 10c to $12.60.
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