AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Little flags interest in joining QR feeding frenzy

<p>Toll Holdings would be interested in acquiring parts of a privatised Queensland Rail, managing director Paul Little said today (Friday, July 27).</p> <p>Mr Little told <em>Lloyd’s List DCN</em> he was watching QR with interest.</p> <p>&#8220QR has a freight business. If it’s privatised, would we be interested in looking at that? Absolutely.</p> <p>&#8220I think Toll’s got a lot of value to add to Queensland Rail, because we’re the largest mover of goods in North Queensland,&#8221 he said.</p> <p>Mr Little said Toll’s interest was squared at the logistics task undertaken by QR &#8211 not its physical assets. </p> <p>&#8220If Queensland Rail privatises there are a whole bunch of things that they’d be privatising, one of which is a freight business that Toll would be interested in,&#8221 he said.</p> <p>&#8220In so far as the train set &#8211 that’s probably something that’s better suited to a rail operator.&#8221</p> <p>Queensland Rail comprises a passenger rail business, the coal business, a non-coal bulk-haulage business transporting steel and grain, a northern Queensland business and its national intermodal business.</p> <p>Linfox was reportedly also flagging its interest in cherry picking plum parts of the rail business in North Queensland.</p> <p>&#8220All I can say is, if Linfox, now owning FCL, was allowed to buy Queensland Rail, then Toll would look at it too,&#8221 Mr Little said.</p> <p>The intra-industry interest comes in the wake of Rio Tinto’s threat to leave Queensland over infrastructure bottlenecks.</p> <p>Queensland premier Peter Beattie has flagged industry involvement in Queensland Rail in a bid to compete with growing Pacific National parent Asciano.</p> <p>Mr Beattie has ruled out a wholesale privatisation of the business.</p> <p>&#8220Queensland Rail is a national commercial business and is always looking at opportunities,&#8221 Mr Beattie was quoted in the <em>Australian Financial Review</em> as saying after meeting Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese. </p> <p>&#8220However, there is no plan to privatise Queensland Rail.&#8221</p> <p>Mr Beattie said he would follow the recommendations of a Queensland Resources Council review into the state’s coal industry.</p> <p>Toll Holdings joins a list of industry suitors interested in becoming involved in the QR structural shake-up. </p> <p>SCT Logistics, Linfox and KFM Diversified Infrastructure and Logistics Fund, which has ports logistics joint ventures with DP World (run by former Patrick boss Chris Corrigan), have been named in the press as potential partners or acquirers of QR freight interests.</p> <br />