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Port operator considers proposals

Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 ( #407 ) - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Local News Story
Ports operator Asciano has received a range of proposals from a number of parties in relation to its expanded monetisation process.
Ports operator Asciano has received a range of proposals from a number of parties in relation to its expanded monetisation process ( News #402).

Proposals include indicative offers for a range of different assets, together with a number of proposals relating to transactions that may result in a change of control and/or a recapitalisation of the group.

All of the proposals are conditional and non-binding.

The company, which hopes to announce a transaction by the end of the current financial year, says it is evaluating the proposals and will proceed to select a smaller group of parties to complete further due diligence and provide final binding offers.

Commenting on the operating performance for the financial year to date, Asciano’s chief executive officer, Mark Rowsthorn, says: "The key trends which began to emerge in our business during the later stages of the December quarter have continued through the March quarter.

"A number of our non-bulk operations, particularly containerised imports, steel and motor vehicles, have experienced a deteriorating operating environment. Whilst the return of some stability to container volumes during March provides some encouragement, we expect market conditions for these businesses to remain challenging in the short term.

"On the other hand, our bulk operations continue to perform extremely well. We expect the current robust operating environment for our coal and grain rail haulage businesses, in particular, to continue for the balance of the financial year and into 2009/2010.

‘The strength of these businesses, together with the extensive efficiency initiatives being actively pursued across all of the business units, result in us continuing to expect that Asciano’s 2008/09 full-year EBITDA (excluding significant and non-recurring items) will be above the level achieved in 2007/08."
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