Qube Group Makes Sweetened A$9 Billion Offer for Asciano

  • Target says revised offer is superior to Brookfield's bid
  • Brookfield now working on revised cash bid of A$9.28 per share

Qube Holdings Ltd. and investors in North America and China made a sweetened offer for Asciano Ltd. valued at A$9 billion ($6.4 billion), topping an existing bid from Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

Brookfield now has five days to match or beat Qube’s superior cash-and-stock offer of A$9.24 a share, Asciano said in a statement Monday. Brookfield has said it’s working on an all-cash offer of A$9.28 per share.

Asciano rose 2.3 percent to A$9.09 at 11:28 a.m. in Sydney, compared with a 0.4 percent decline for the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index.

The battle for control of Melbourne-based Asciano is still in doubt because Brookfield can’t legally submit another proposal within the matching period that expires at the end of Feb. 15. Both parties also face regulatory hurdles, with the competition watchdog due to rule on the offers by March 24.

At this stage, there’s “no certainty that a new Brookfield Infrastructure proposal would be made or the timing of such a proposal,” Asciano said in its statement.

Asciano said its board has determined the offer from Qube, New York-based Global Infrastructure Management LLC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and a unit of China Investment Corp., is superior to Brookfield’s existing proposal.

A switch by Asciano’s board to support the new offer from the Qube group would trigger a break fee payment of A$88 million to Brookfield.

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