Carlyle, TPG Submit Bids for Asciano

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian rail and ports operator Asciano Ltd (AIO.AX) has received four final bids, including proposals from private equity group Carlyle Group CYL.UL, to either buy the whole company or its assets, two sources briefed about the process told Reuters on Tuesday.

Asciano, which has A$4.6 billion ($3.6 billion) in bank debt, has put itself up for sale and expects to announce a deal by June 30.

One source said the company was also looking at other ways to address its debt issue, including a potential capital raising.

An Asciano spokeswoman said the firm was assessing proposals received last week, but declined to comment on individual bids. The company still aims to meet the end-June deadline, she added.

TPG Group TPG.UL and Global Infrastructure Partners, which is owned by Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX) and General Electric (GE.N), are other bidders, one source said.

The identify of the fourth bidder was unclear.

Carlyle declined to comment, while TPG and GIP said they could not offer any immediate comment.

The sources declined to be identified due to the confidential nature of the discussions.

The final bids were due last Friday.

Last August, Asciano rejected a A$2.9 billion takeover offer, at A$4.40 a share, from private equity groups TPG and Global Infrastructure Partners.

The stock last traded at A$1.61.

($1=A$1.27) (Reporting by Denny Thomas; Editing by Mark Bendeich)