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Asciano buyout clears final hurdle with Australian court approval: Reuters

The A$9.1 billion (US$6.8 billion) buyout of Australian port and rail freight giant Asciano Ltd (AIO.AX) by global investors was approved by a court on Thursday, clearing the final hurdle for the country’s biggest foreign takeover in five years.

Announcing the Supreme Court of New South Wales state had cleared the deal, Asciano said on Thursday its shares will stop trading on July 29. Stockholders will receive payments on August 19.

After rival bids and regulatory concerns held up a deal originally scheduled for completion by the end of 2015, the buyout was cleared by Australia’s antitrust regulator and the country’s Foreign Investments Review Board this month.

The takeover involves selling Asciano’s port assets in a split between Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO) and Australian stevedoring company Qube Holdings Ltd (QUB.AX), while a consortium involving government-owned China Investment Corp (CIC.UL) will take its rail assets.

Update: Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is partnering with CIC on the rail-assets acquisition, while British Columbia Investment Management Corp (bcIMC) is investing alongside Brookfield.

The joint Brookfield-Qube deal was announced in March.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Mick Tsikas