The ACCC declared yesterday that Toll Holdings might be forced to sell
its 50% of the Pacific National rail joint venture before it could
proceed with a $4.3 billion bid for Patrick Corporation, reports The Australian. In its first phase review of Toll’s bid, the ACCC has found four key triggers to a rejection of the
takeover under section 50 of the Trade Practices Act.
The regulator hasn’t
derailed Toll Holdings’ bid, but it
has taken some steam out of its boilers, says Stephen Bartholomeusz in The Smage. While the commission used harsh language to dismiss behavioural
undertakings that Toll had proposed to alleviate the regulator’s
concerns – “inadequate, impracticable and unacceptably difficult to
enforce” – the issues the ACCC has with the bid, as opposed to
Toll’s initial offerings on undertakings, aren’t necessarily a
deal-breaker. Critically, the commission hasn’t made a major issue, yet, of
the vertical integration that would occur if Toll’s existing
interests in road and rail were brought next to Patrick’s interests
in ports and stevedoring, which would have attacked the fundamental
rationale for the bid.
The Fin Review reports that Macquarie Bank has proposed buying more
than 7000 ATMs from the major banks to grab a foothold in the payments
system and add to its vast portfolio of infrastructure assets.
And Coopers Brewery has accused Lion Nathan of trying to pressure
accountants KPMG into giving a valuation of the Adelaide brewer
that would support Lion Nathan’s hostile $352 million $260-a-share
bid, reports The Age.
On Wall Street, US stocks rallied to a sharply higher close
overnight, boosted a five-month low for the price of crude oil and a
remarkably successful auction of Treasury bonds. The Dow Jones closed
up 93.89 points at 10,640 – MarketWatch has a full report here.
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