Aurizon employees at the Rockhampton workshop.
Aurizon employees at the Rockhampton workshop.

Linfox buys out Aurizon QLD, saving hundreds of CQ jobs

LINFOX will acquire Aurizon's Queensland Intermodal business (QIB), saving hundreds of Central Queensland jobs.

The sale, which will not be opposed by the ACCC, will see Linfox take over freight forwarding and pick-up-and-delivery assets, rail wagons, the transfer of customer contracts and employment of the majority of Aurizon's QIB employees, as well as access to terminals.

Aurizon's Bulk business will provide, under a separate 10-year commercial, take-or-pay contract with Linfox, the rail linehaul services and some terminal services to Linfox using Aurizon locomotives and employees.

The transaction is subject to the Federal Court lifting the interlocutory injunction that currently compels Aurizon to continue to operate QIB until final orders of the Court. This will form part of the Federal Court Proceedings scheduled for November 19 2018.

Pending the lifting of the interlocutory injunction, Aurizon and Linfox intend the sale of QIB to complete in early 2019.

The Linfox offer represents the only standalone, binding bid for QIB. It also avoids Aurizon having to shut down QIB with the potential loss of more than 300 jobs, many of which are located in regional Queensland and avoiding an estimated $30-40 million in closure costs. On settlement of the transaction, pre-tax losses in the order of $35 million (predominately non-cash) would be recognised in the income statement.

QIB customers and Queensland regional areas will benefit from the service continuity that will be preserved by this transaction.

At completion of the transaction, approximately 120 Aurizon employees will continue to provide rail line haul services to all regional towns currently serviced. About 190 Aurizon employees currently engaged in the provision of terminal operations and pick-up and delivery services will transfer to Linfox.