AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Toll eyes Linfox `if it’s for sale’

<p>Toll Holdings managing director Paul Little’s relatively neutral comment about Linfox on <em>Business Sunday</em> (Sunday, June 12), sparked headlines purporting that Toll was preparing to take over Lindsay Fox’s company.</p> <p>Questioned on the amount of debt, put in some quarters at $2bn, that Toll could take on, the ABC’s Alan Kohler stated Toll could probably buy Linfox.</p> <p>Asked if he had called Mr Fox about such a move, Mr Little replied: &#8220Well, the Linfox business is a good business for us. Of course, it would create some competitive concerns, we’d need to satisfy the ACCC that we weren’t going to create any competition issues there. We’re not working on that now at the moment. If the business is sold, we’d look at that.&#8221</p> <p>Probably more revealing but still carefully couched, was Mr Little’s answer on the future of Virgin Blue.</p> <p>&#8220We’re not intending to sell Virgin Blue in the foreseeable future,&#8221 Mr Little said. </p> <p>&#8220We have said there are a number of possible outcomes with Virgin Blue, a sale is only one of them and we’ve also said that while we’re continuing to add significant value to that business, we’ll continue to hold it, at the present time we think we’ve got more value to add.&#8221</p> <p>Mr Little admitted the intention was to drive the airline upmarket.</p> <p>Asked whether he foresaw a shift of Toll shareholders to Asciano, Mr Little said: &#8220No, rail is still a very important service inside Toll today, we simply don’t own the rolling stock that’s needed to provide the service but we will be Pacific National’s largest customer and we should have a lot of influence over price levels and services that we enjoy from Pacific National, as will the other customers inside Pacific National. So from our point of view, if rail becomes a more dominant force in logistics around Australia, that’s a good outcome, not a bad outcome."</p> <br />