The federal election has delayed the $9 billion takeover and breakup of Asciano.
The deal by a super-sized consortium of companies from Australia, Canada, Qatar and China to acquire the ports and rail freight group had been expected to be finalised by June.
However, the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) can’t make a decision on the deal when the government is in caretaker mode running up to the July 2 poll.
Asciano says it now expects FIRB approval no later than July 22.
The Asciano board has approved the deal, ending a bidding war which started in July last year. It also means a break-up of assets at Asciano.
Chris Corrigan’s Qube will get what it always wanted out of the deal — the Patrick Container Terminals Business — but in a 50/50 joint venture with Brookfield Infrastructure and its consortium for $2.915 billion.
The super consortium is made up of the members of two previously competing groups bidding for Asciano. They are: Qube Holdings Limited, Global Infrastructure Management, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, CIC Capital Corporation, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners Limited, GIC Private Limited, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, and Qatar Investment Authority.
Corrigan, chairman of Qube, was the managing director of the Patrick Corporation, which essentially owned Qube’s containers terminals, until it was taken over in 2006.
With the backing of the John Howard federal government, Corrigan transformed Australia’s waterfront in the late 1990s using lockouts and strike breakers to smash a union hold on the supply of labour.