Chris Corrigan's Qube makes a counter bid in the multi-billion dollar fight for Asciano

Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Chris Corrigan’s Qube has turned up the heat in the biding war for logistics group Asciano.

Qube announced its own full takeover bid for Asciano, the local company with key port terminal assets also subject to an offer from Canada’s Brookfield Infrastructure.

Asciano shares jumped more than 3.% on the news to $9.005. Qube was down 3.5% to $2.18.

Qube has made it clear it wants the terminals within Asciano and isn’t that keen on the rest. It took a 19.9% blocking stake, costing about $1.7 billion, to stop Brookfield’s $8.9 billion bid going to 100%.

In reply, Brookfield went on market to snap up a 14.9% holding at $8.80 a share.

Port operator Qube’s latest bid is at $9.25 per Asciano share, made up of 75% cash, with the balance in Qube shares.

“The proposal represents superior value to the conditional scheme of arrangement and conditional proposed takeover offer announced by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners,” Qube told the market today.

Qube says the implied value of A$9.25 a share for Asciano is 15 cents above the implied average value of the Brookfield offer of $9.10.

Corrigan, chairman of Qube and former managing director of the Patrick Corporation until it was taken over in 2006, has enlisted Global Infrastructure Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board as partners in the takeover.

Corrigan transformed, with the backing of the John Howard federal government, Australia’s waterfront in the late 1990s using lockouts and strike breakers to smash a union hold on the supply of labour.

Qube believes a strategic combination with the Patrick Containers Terminals business within Asciano as well as a small number of assets in the bulk, automotive and general stevedoring businesses has the potential to create significant value.

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