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Govt deal to buy Tranz Rail de-railed

Hon Roger Sowry MP National Party Transport Spokesman

27 June 2003

Govt deal to buy Tranz Rail de-railed

The Government proposal to buy Tranz Rail appears to have been derailed, says National Party Transport spokesman Roger Sowry.

"As at this morning Australia's Toll Holdings had secured 19.9% of Tranz Rail shares on market, and we already know Toll has support from institutional investors.

"That leaves the Government's bid to buy the company dead in the water.

"If the Government still wants to play any role in Tranz Rail, it will now need to negotiate directly with Toll," says Mr Sowry.

"Of course Toll could be forgiven if it is less than open with the Government after the public attacks in recent weeks.

"If the track buy-back is still on Labour's agenda, the taxpayer, could end up footing the bill, for the hostile way in which Finance Minister Michael Cullen approached the issue," Mr Sowry says.

"The National Party has always said that the market would move to solve the financial plight that Tranz Rail found itself in.

"Given Toll's success, we now need to know what will happen to the $44 million of taxpayer money that the Government has already poured into Tranz Rail," he says.

"The Government was warned against that cash injection, because there were doubts as to whether its take over would be successful.

"It's yet another business clanger from a Government that won't let the market take its course," says Mr Sowry.


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