Toll Holdings has acquired stevedore Patrick Corp for $5.8 billion after an eight-month battle in which harsh words were traded between the companies. Toll managing director Peter Little said the deal would change the face of the Australian transport industry by giving customers a full supply-train solution from the ports to the warehouse. Toll’s initial $4.6 billion bid was rejected back in August while Patrick managing director Chris Corrigan claimed in newspaper advertisements that it needed Toll, “like a fish needs a bicycle”. This week Mr Corrigan expressed satisfaction with the deal and said it had deliberately set up the circumstance so that it could have the maximum negotiating leverage. The result has already had a knock-on effect, with state-owned Queensland Rail, the recent purchaser of Wesfarmers’ joint venture Australian Railroad Group, looking to further purchases to bolster its presence in markets now dominated by Toll-Patrick.
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