Patrick Corporation

Patrick Corporation Ltd was an Australian publicly listed logistics conglomerate. Headed by CEO Chris Corrigan before it was absorbed by Toll Holdings in 2006, Patrick had interests in shipping, rail and aviation, including a 62% shareholding in airline Virgin Blue. Its headquarters were located in Sydney, New South Wales.

Patrick Corporation was one of the main protagonists in the 1998 Australian waterfront dispute which centred on the Port of Melbourne.

In August 2005, Toll Holdings launched a hostile takeover bid for Patrick Corporation, which would include selling down its share in Virgin Blue.

In January 2006, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) ordered that Toll could not takeover Patrick Corporation. However, on 11 March 2006, after Toll gave the ACCC further undertakings in relation to the conduct of the business after a successful acquisition the ACCC indicated that it would withdraw its opposition.

Patrick was given approval by the ACCC to acquire freight-forwarders FCL Interstate Transport on the condition that it broke up Pacific National, its joint-venture with Toll. The deal also hinged on Toll being unsuccessful in its bid for Patrick. On 14 April 2006, Patrick Corporation agreed to accept Toll's revised bid for the company after spending nine months fighting the hostile takeover. While not officially acquired yet, it is expected that Toll will soon own enough Patrick shares to take control of the company. Toll's revised bid, some $5.8 billion instead of about $4 billion offered initially, was considered by Patrick to be the best deal it could get. The deal ends Patrick's plans for acquiring FCL and will mean the sell-off of Patrick's 50% stake in Pacific National to a third party (under the ACCC's ruling). Toll will now become the only fully vertically integrated logistics company in Australia — it will be able to provide a full package of shipping, road, rail and door-to-door transport of freight. Queensland Rail (QR) is already making plans to buy out FCL and trucking company Linfox in order to create its own mega-logistics chain.

On 24 May 2006, after having had held over 50% of Patrick for the past two weeks and having extended its offer for an additional week after not being able to achieve the required stock to remove Patrick from the ASX, Toll reached 90%. Patrick was absorbed the following day. Patrick had previously been a constituent of the S&P/ASX 200 index. Trade in the remaining shares was suspended on 6 June 2006, and PRK was removed from the official list on 3 July 2006 after completion of compulsory acquisition.

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