Brookfield cleared to pursue coal terminal bid

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission decided not to oppose Brookfield Infrastructure Partners’ bid to acquire the Abbot Point Coal Terminal in Queensland. The commission is also currently reviewing a bid from Adani Enterprises.

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners has all the regulatory approvals needed to pursue a bid for the Abbot Point Coal Terminal in Queensland, Australia, following a government agency’s assessment that Brookfield’s ownership of the terminal would not substantially lessen competition in coal supply markets. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) decided not to oppose the firm’s bid for Abbot Point, saying in its review that the “likely future presence of competing coal terminals” would constrain Brookfield’s ability to increase prices or reduce coal-loading services. 

Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (BIP), Brookfield Asset Management’s listed infrastructure fund, acquired another Queensland coal terminal—Dalrymple Bay—through its two-part acquisition of Prime Infrastructure over the past two years. In 2009, BIP acquired 40 percent of Prime Infrastructure, formerly Babcock & Brown Infrastructure, followed by the remaining 60 percent last December.

In a February earnings call, BIP management said it was “looking” at a possible investment in the Abbot Point terminal, which is being auctioned off by the Queensland government. A subsidiary of Xstrata Coal currently manages the terminal, according to the ACCC.

Other bids are still under consideration. The ACCC is also reviewing a bid for Abbot Point from a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprises. The ACCC expects to announce its decision on Adani’s bid on 7 April.