ON OCTOBER 10 Australian transport and logistics group Toll Holdings declared its bid for New Zealand's Tranz Rail unconditional. Toll already holds a 50% stake in Australia's Pacific National. The company confirmed that it now had a majority of directors on the Tranz Rail board, and announced that Mark Rowsthorn had been elected as the railway's new Chairman.

With the revised NZ$1·10 per share cash offer announced on July 26 (RG 9.03 p538) due to close at 18.00 on October 10, Toll informed the New Zealand Stock Exchange that it was 'just short' of its target for 90% acceptance, and had decided to waive that condition. Managing Director Paul Little confirmed that the offer would be extended to November 7, 'giving shareholders one last chance to sell'. All major institutional shareholders had already sold, he said, including Infratil Ltd, Tower Asset Management, AMP Henderson, Brook Asset Management and Alliance Capital Management.

Little insisted that Toll was 'committed to closing this deal, working towards improving New Zealand's rail services, and developing long-term relationships with customers and capital markets.' Once the takeover has been completed, Toll plans to seek a dual listing on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.