Three of Canada's largest fund managers are part of a $6.5-billion Cdn deal to take over Australian rail, port and terminal operator Asciano Ltd.

The Brookfield Asset Management group, the British Columbia Investment Management Corp. and Qatar Investment Consortium form one consortium that is striking a partnership with Qube, a group that includes the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

The international group is offering $9.28 Australian per share for Asciano, which owns a railway and port and terminals business in the Australian cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

The two groups had made rival bids for Asciano, but have made a proposal to work together and to split up the company.

The Pacific National Railway, one of Australia's biggest freight railways, will be 76 per cent held by the Qube group and 24 per cent by another group of investors, some of them related to the Brookfield consortium.

The Brookfield consortium will acquire half the Patrick terminals business and 100 per cent of the BAPS supply line and bulk business.

Brookfield Infrastructure has committed to invest a minimum of $350 million US into Asciano's ports business.

The other half of the terminals business will go to the Qube Group, which also includes New York-based Global Infrastructure Management LLC  and a unit of China Investment Corp.

The deal is subject to approval by Asciano shareholders and Australia regulators, including a foreign investment review board.

Big investment funds are putting money into infrastructure worldwide, betting that economies must have facilities such as rails and ports in order to grow. 

With files from Canadian Press