Shares in freight logistics company Asciano jumped 20% after it confirmed media reports that it has received a confidential, non-binding and conditional proposal from Canadian company Brookfield Infrastructure Group.
The $9 billion takeover offer values it at almost 37% more than its last traded share price.
The implied value of the deal is $9.05 per share in cash and shares. Asciano last traded at $6.65 before going into a halt.
Asciano, which owns Patrick container ports, says the talks are at an early stage and just confirming that the deal is being discussed could stop it.
“The board of Asciano notes that there is no certainty that the proposal will result in an offer for the company, what the terms of any offer would be, or whether there will be a recommendation by the board,” the company said.
“The board also notes that this disclosure may result in Brookfield withdrawing its proposal. If the proposal does not proceed, the board believes that Asciano has a very attractive independent future and that the company is well positioned to continue to deliver strong growth.”
The company posted an underlying profit for 2014 of $342.5 million.
Asciano shares jumped almost 20% when they came out of the trading halt. A short time ago, there were at $7.93.