AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Corrigan, Little face off at Pacific National board meeting

<p>Patrick Corp’s Chris Corrigan and Toll Holidays’s Paul Little were set for a face-to-face meeting this morning (Monday, October 24) at a Pacific National board meeting expected to discuss a replacement chief executive for the now-resigned Stephen O’Donnell.</p> <p>The feuding partners last week agreed on the appointment of an arbitrator, who started work on Friday to determine whether Patrick has a genuine dispute with Toll over rail contracts between PN and Toll North.</p> <p>Mr Corrigan conceded in the <em>Weekend Australian</em> that a combined Patrick and Toll would be worth more than the sum of its parts. </p> <p>But he said that this would depend on a much higher bid and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approval.</p> <p>Mr Corrigan told ABC TV’s <em>Inside Business</em> program on Sunday that he believed that the Toll bid had got bogged down with its share price dropping and Patrick shareholders "bored to death" with lobbying from Toll. </p> <p>But he indicated to the <em>Weekend Australian</em> that he supported the integrated business model that Toll has been pushing &#8211 at the right price. </p> <p>"It comes down to relativities," he said. "Because what you are really doing is you are pooling the two businesses and you are deciding what percentage Patrick shareholders get and what percentage Toll shareholders get. </p> <p>"Most people believe that we have got the better business, the more strategic business." </p> <p>Mr Corrigan told the <em>Weekend Australian</em> that he had been deliberately rushed into signing off on the Toll North&#47Pacific National deal without Mr O’Donnell seeing the altered contract. </p> <p>He dismissed Toll claims last week that Patrick could be short of $400m in cash to pay for its capital works program, pointing out that the company is usually regarded as undergeared. </p> <br />