The competition watchdog is concerned at the massive Asciano takeover

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Competition regulator the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) has concerns about the takeover of Asciano by Canada’s Brookfield Infrastructure.

The deal approved by the Asciano board values the Australian ports and rail group at $A12 billion.

The sweetened offer for the logistics company will see Asciano shareholders get $9.152 per share, made up of $6.94 in cash and the rest in shares, up from the $9.05 previously offered.

However, today the ACCC said Brookfield would end up owning Asciano’s Pacific National above rail business.

Pacific National operates on Brookfield’s rail network in Western Australia and transports coal to Brookfield’s Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal in central Queensland. Brookfield operates both under long-term leases which expire in about 35 years.

Market participants have raised strong concerns with the ACCC about Brookfield’s ability and incentive to favour Pacific National through its Brookfield Rail and Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal businesses.

“The ACCC is concerned that the vertical integration will lead to a substantial lessening of competition in related markets for the supply of above rail haulage services in WA and Queensland,” says ACCC Chairman Rod Sims.

The ACCC, which is inviting submissions by November 4, expects to announce a final decision on the takeover by December 17.

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