Aurizon pauses stake sale plans

Rail operator shelves plans amid weakened appetite in coal infrastructure.

Aurizon Holdings Ltd has shelved plans to sell minority stakes in its railway tracks to institutional investors, according to The Australian Financial Review.

The company had said in May that planned a partial sale of its tracks, but it is now not actively pursuing a sale as it looks to cut spending plans and absorb a weaker operating environment.

Analysts had suggested Aurizon would be expected to sell about 25%of stakes in its rail track holdings, which would generate at least $1.3 billion in cash, according to estimates by Goldman Sachs.

Aurizon's balance sheet is in relatively good shape, with some $900 million in cash and a modest gearing of 26.7%.

But investors have been cautious about investments in coal-related infrastructure, making it less desirable for Aurizon to actively pursue a sale, the AFR added.