PE Firms Offer To Buy Asciano Notes

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Private equity firms TPG and Global Infrastructure Partners have offered to buy more than A$1 billion ($680 million) of convertible notes in Australian ports operator Asciano Ltd (AIO.AX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the Australian Financial Review newspaper said on Tuesday.

Without citing sources, the paper said Asciano, which needs the money to fund growth opportunities and capital works, is likely to reject the offer as it is pursuing other capital raising options.

The two private equity firms had made a A$2.9 billion, A$4.40 a share, takeover offer to buy Asciano in August, but were rebuffed. Asciano shares stood at A$2.20 at Monday’s close, compared with a high of A$8.97 in November 2007.

The paper said TPG founder David Bonderman had delivered the latest offer to buy the notes in person to Asciano Chairman Tim Poole on Friday. (Reporting by Jonathan Standing)