Qube shareholders approve Carlyle purchase

Australian transport and logistics company Qube now has A$175m in cash and equivalents to pursue acquisitions, following Carlyle’s previously announced A$116.5m investment in the company.

Shareholders have “overwhelmingly” approved Carlyle Infrastructure Partners’ acquisition of 15 percent of Qube Logistics, the Sydney-listed logistics company said in a statement.

The $1.1 billion Carlyle Infrastructure Partners fund acquired its stake in Qube through two share purchases valued at a total of A$116.5 million (€85.2 million; $121.8 million). Added to its existing resources, Qube now has A$175 in cash and equivalents to pursue acquisitions, according to the statement.

Chris Corrigan, chairman of Qube’s advisory committee, recently indicated in interviews with Australian media that he might make another bid for Australian transport group Asciano. “It’s a business we know and are interested in,” he told The Australian, adding: “we’re not in a position to make a ridiculous offer”.

Asciano has previously resisted private equity takeover offers, including an A$2.9 billion bid made by TPG and Global Infrastructure Partners in 2008. Corrigan, who used to head Asciano’s port container subsdiary, also worked with Carlyle on a 2009 recapitalisation bid for Asciano.

Asciano continues to raise capital outside of private equity. Last week, the company issued $1 billion in new senior guaranteed notes in the US and international debt capital markets, according to a statement.

Qube marked Carlyle Infrastructure Partners’ first investment outside the US and the sixth investment for the fund, which closed in November 2007.

Qube shares closed Friday down 2.9 percent at A$1.67.