AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Toll grabs 6.1% stake in Tranz Rail

<p>Toll Group has thrown its weight into the market scrap over the future of embattled New Zealand operator Tranz Rail.</p> <p>The transport and logistics group has bought a 6.1% stake in Tranz Rail, fuelling speculation that it might try to trump Rail America’s takeover bid for the company.</p> <p>Tranz Rail shares leapt another NZ10 cents this morning (Tuesday, May 20) to NZ96 cents on the back of the news.</p> <p>The share price has soared from lows of around 30 cents earlier this year, boosted mostly by the Rail America takeover offer of NZ75 cents a share last week.</p> <p>Toll Group managing director Paul Little said: &#8220Toll has acquired its small interest in Tranz Rail on market, so that we can participate in the anticipated sale process.&#8221</p> <p>Toll has analysed Tranz Rail for a &#8220possible strategic fit&#8221, he said.</p> <p>Key assets in Tranz Rail are similar and complementary to Toll’s Australian operations, the company believes.</p> <p>&#8220This involvement with Tranz Rail is seen as an opportunity to further complement Toll’s existing operations in New Zealand and in line with Toll’s strategic growth ambitions within the region,&#8221 Mr Little said.</p> <p>Last month Toll expressed interest in buying Tranz Rail’s trucking and logistics business, Tranz Link.</p> <p>Despite the Rail America offer, Tranz Rail has pledged to continue with its planned asset sales to improve the company’s liquidity situation. </p> <br />