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Pacific National wants Freight Australia for its rail business

<p>Pacific National is planning to buy Freight Australia, according to a report in today’s (Tuesday, November 11) <em>Herald Sun</em> .</p> <p>The newspaper said Toll Holdings managing director Paul Little has confirmed that Pacific National, the operator jointly owned by Toll and the Patrick Corporation, is in the race for Freight Australia.</p> <p>Mr Little, who is at present in New York, said the deal would probably involve the Victorian Government buying back the 45-year lease on the Victorian rural track network.</p> <p>Despite Mr Little’s comments, both Pacific National and Patrick remain tight-lipped on the issue.</p> <p>A Patrick spokeswoman told <em>Lloyd’s List DCN</em> that the company does not comment on potential acquisitions, and a spokesman for Pacific National said his company "did not comment on commercial matters".</p> <p>The purchase of Freight Australia would strengthen considerably Pacific National’s position on the eastern seaboard.</p> <p>"Geographically, the Freight Australia network is very much a hub network that would enhance Pacific National’s operations," Mr Little was quoted as saying in the <em>Herald Sun</em> .</p> <p>"There are a lot of mutual customers, a lot of synergies." </p> <p>Meanwhile, present Freight Australia owner RailAmerica has released its latest carload figures for October 2003, showing that traffic on Freight Australia’s network is down 8.7% compared with last year.</p> <p>October grain shipments were down 18% to 4,366 wagon loads, from 5,324 in October 2002.</p> <br />