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  • DataRoom AM: Qantas tailspin | Business Spectator
    who spun off a growth business but desperate times may call for desperate measures and nothing can be ruled out In the meantime Virgin Australia with the backing of three major overseas airlines is looking the stronger of the two domestic players a notion that would have been crazy just a few short years ago Ironically for all the talk of Virgin strength it didn t actually make a profit last year Qantas did believe it or not This year will likely see red ink flow at both companies in yet another sign that airlines are rarely a good investment The airline sector is often cited as a rare surviving industry where cumulative profits over time have been negative IPO market Veda Group Nine Entertainment Concerns over have been put off for at least one more day after credit checking company Veda Group hit ASX boards with a bang yesterday The private equity backed group surged 40 per cent putting worries over the IPO market to bed for now Earlier this week the Industria REIT and Dick Smith Holdings floats were met with a muted reaction However they weren t considered the cream of the IPO crop and Veda s debut brought back memories of the strong recent beginnings of OzForex Virtus Health and Freelancer The surge for Veda saw its value climb around 400 million which would have pleased majority shareholder Pacific Equity Partners given it has retained a 63 5 per cent shareholding in the now listed entity The IPO managed by Citigroup and UBS raised 341 1 million through the sale of 272 8 million shares at 1 25 apiece The shares closed at 1 75 yesterday afternoon with the company now valued at 1 4 billion Shares in Dick Smith Holdings meanwhile are now above their listing price after gaining 2 per cent yesterday They closed flat on their first day of trade on Wednesday Now all eyes turn to Nine Entertainment which will join the ASX later today There are high hopes that it will be another good day for the IPO market with the media group s decision to price at the bottom of its range which ensured an oversubscribed bookbuild meaning it should begin the day with green numbers Elsewhere speculation continues to swirl around a possible listing of Healthscope next year According to the Australian Financial Review the private hospital operator is testing the appetite of investors for a float of as much as 4 billion next year though it still appears to be very early days in the process Should potential investors be receptive then a listing could be expected in either the second or third quarter of 2014 the report suggested Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Saputo Murray Goulburn Bega Cheese Warrnambool Cheese and Butter remains uncertain on the latest offer put forward by suitor Murray Goulburn continuing to advise shareholders to take no action at the current time Murray Goulburn upped its bid to 9 50 a share in November

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/12/6/aviation/dataroom-am-qantas-tailspin (2014-01-12)
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  • DataRoom AM: Westfield makeover | Business Spectator
    The smart money is on a New York listing however given the company s main expansion focus of late appears to be the US the American economy is showing signs of recovery and Lowy bought a 13 million apartment in the Big Apple earlier this year Investors in Westfield Group welcomed the move demergers are largely supported by investors pushing the company s shares 4 per cent higher yesterday However ratings agency Standard Poor s was less effusive placing the credit ratings of both Westfield Group and Westfield Retail Trust on credit watch negative Should this lead to a downgrade it may have an impact on the plans It should also be noted that WRT shares fell slightly in a sign of which company investors see as the big winner Given the Lowy family sold out of WRT earlier in the year one suspects it wouldn t be the largest beneficiary For investors it s a simple case of follow the money and the name with both the Lowy money and the Westfield name heading toward the international operations The massive deal has been viewed as another late year treat for bankers with Morgan Stanley and UBS acting on behalf of Westfield Retail Trust and JP Morgan and Rothschild s advising Westfield Group Fairfax Media Stayz Fairfax Media has offloaded holiday home rental website Stayz for 220 million to US based HomeAway Inc Stayz purchased by Fairfax for 6 million in 2005 was long rumoured to be on the chopping block as the media group attempts to shore up its balance sheet While turning 6 million into 220 million represents a great result questions still linger about whether it is the smartest strategy With traditional media facing severe headwinds it appears strange to give up one of the company s best performed businesses and a growing one at that Still a few months ago reports suggested the website might recoup 150 million for Fairfax so the end sale price appears a strong result For HomeAway which was always considered a likely suitor alongside locally based Wotif it represents the second acquisition in the region this year Last month the US based group acquired 55 per cent of New Zealand based Bookabach Ltd which also has operations in Australia It first entered Australia through the 2011 purchase of a rental property website from REA Group Goldman Sachs has previously been reported as the lead advisor on the deal for Fairfax IPO market Dick Smith Holdings Nine Entertainment George Soros The first day of trading in electronics retailer Dick Smith Holdings ended meekly after a strong start Early in the piece the shares gained 6 per cent on strong demand but after briefly retreating below listing price the securities ended flat at 2 20 a share It is the latest hint of IPO fatigue among investors though the biggest test is likely to be the float of Nine Entertainment this Friday The 2 billion float which will raise 670 million is the

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/12/5/dataroom/dataroom-am-westfield-makeover (2014-01-12)
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  • DataRoom AM: Netting AAPT | Business Spectator
    deal could not be agreed The Australian suggests TPG is desperate to secure the buy having missed out on Leighton Holdings telecommunications businesses earlier this year as well as coming up short when iiNet outbid it for AAPT s consumer arm which Telecom NZ offloaded for 60 million in 2010 It is believed TPG is the frontrunner at this point with a buyer reportedly being sought before Christmas Given the many false starts we will believe it when we see it but one suspects Telecom NZ is finally ready to rid itself of the memories of what has turned out to be a very expensive purchase IPO market Industria REIT Nine Entertainment Dick Smith Holdings Veda The strong IPO market has received a blow with the less than impressive debut of APN Property Group s Industria REIT on the ASX yesterday Securities in the group slumped more than 6 per cent from the listing price of 2 a far cry from the success stories of Freelancer com OzForex and Virtus Health in recent months Still Industria is not a high profile float with that badge best left to upcoming IPOs of Nine Entertainment Dick Smith Holdings and Pact Group Dick Smith is expected to receive a warm welcome when it goes on market today while Nine Entertainment is finalising its bookbuild ahead of plans to hit the boards on Friday Nine which will be the biggest IPO of the year has seen strong demand for its stock from fund managers at the lower end of its indicative price range according to The Australian It will likely see the company list with a price of around 2 15 which is comfortably below the upper level of 2 35 UBS Macquarie Group Morgan Stanley and Commonwealth Bank of Australia are acting as joint lead managers of the float In the meantime all eyes are on Dick Smith with today s news of improved retail forecasts perfectly timed for the group s ASX listing Virgin Australia Qantas Airways Virgin Australia has received the green light from the Takeovers Panel for its latest capital raising The airline is looking to raise 350 million with its three major shareholders Air New Zealand Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways underwriting the offer The deal was threatened by the Australian Shareholders Association which filed a complaint to the Takeovers Panel over what it viewed as the airline going to extraordinary lengths for the purpose of its main shareholders gaining further control of the company The raising was also met with derision from rival Qantas Airways which complained to the government that it was essentially a foreign takeover by stealth The war of words that has broken out since has seen Virgin go as far as considering legal action though few expect it to prove anything more than an idle threat Virgin shares closed up 3 per cent on the news Meanwhile with Qantas shunning the prospect of an imminent capital raising rumours are spreading as to how it

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/12/4/breakfast-deals/dataroom-am-netting-aapt (2014-01-12)
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  • DataRoom AM: Saputo intolerance | Business Spectator
    shares it has acquired in WCB to date Regardless of that outcome there are two glaring issues within the battle worth addressing 1 Saputo should never have made its offer complicated in the first place It was mainly reported in the press as a 9 a share offer but the company was readily spruiking the availability of franking credits to eligible shareholders Now by simplifying the offer in a way that can be disputed as reducing the offer it has given strength to its rivals 2 WCB has appeared too close to Saputo The Canadian company may be the best fit and could be offering the best terms to shareholders but a case can be made that the board hasn t fully leveraged its position of having three hungry bidders circling Appearing unwilling to engage with any suitor other than Saputo is not a good look Even now when there are rumours MG will raise its bid once more WCB is urging shareholders to take up the Saputo offer Would it not be wise to wait in case MG lifts its bid which would then likely lead to an improved offer from Saputo According to The Australian several WCB shareholders have been concerned enough about the board s handling of the takeover to write letters of complaint to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission In what was a big day of action on the WCB front Saputo filed a substantial shareholder notice reporting it had so far received acceptances for 3 73 per cent of WCB stock though much of that may be accounted for by the securities owned by members of the WCB board Bega meanwhile said it would extend its offer deadline until December 12 while Murray Goulburn confirmed a willingness to work with Kirin Holdings which owns 10 per cent of WCB s stock Kirin looking to protect its relationship with WCB remains a wildcard in the battle though one suspects it would prefer Saputo didn t enter the Australian market After a day of many developments we appear further away from a solution Ansell Two years after glove and condom maker Ansell failed to buy North American based protective glove maker BarrierSafe Solutions International the ASX listed group has its prey In 2011 the group was outbid by Odyssey Investment Partners but given Odyssey is a private equity group Ansell knew it would not be looking to hang around for ever Likewise Odyssey knew it had a suitable buyer for when it saw a desire to move on For Ansell the 670 million takeover represents its largest ever acquisition and sees it expand its reach in the US It appears a shrewd deal given the Illinois based BarrierSafe is prominent within the glove market segments in the US where Ansell is either weak or non existent including industrial and dental gloves The buy will also make North America Ansell s largest market While both buyer and seller appear winners out of the deal advisor UBS AG

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/27/breakfast-deals/dataroom-am-saputo-intolerance (2014-01-12)
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  • DataRoom AM: Saputo's bittersweet bait | Business Spectator
    print it betrays a tinge of arrogance Yes it s a call to arms but it sounds more like a wealthy man in a hurry talking down to his poorer cousins And it certainly doesn t allude to the complexity of the decision for WCB shareholders particularly for dairy farmers who are thinking long and hard about how this move will shape the future of their industry Any shareholder wanting to exit would be wise to do so via the stock market where they can receive 9 23 as of yesterday s close rather than a conditional 9 20 This is another factor that will hurt Saputo s acceptances which currently amount to less than 1 per cent The 9 23 has the potential to go higher shortly given rumours Murray Goulburn will soon raise its bid The Australian dairy co operative is on the back foot given it is months away from receiving regulatory clearance or otherwise and needs to put in a higher bid to convince shareholders to wait around a while longer Importantly Saputo didn t go as far as to make its bid final meaning it has reserved the right to alter its bid It s a sign the Canadian dairy giant is expecting another play from Murray Goulburn and while it s unlikely Murray Goulburn can raise its bid without Saputo firing back it may at least assist in buying the Victorian dairy co op a little more time While Saputo desperately wants this battle tied up before Christmas such a scenario appears very unlikely present GPT Group Commonwealth Property Office Fund Dexus Property Group GPT Group has retained the front seat in the fight for control of Commonwealth Property Office Fund CPA after Dexus Property Group and its partner Canada Pension Plan Investment Board opted not to match GPT s bid in time CPA cancelled an exclusive due diligence agreement with the Dexus consortium as a result Interestingly both Dexus and GPT rose above the market s gains yesterday suggesting investors are pleased the takeover battle isn t threatening to get out of hand with counterbids After yesterday s action GPT s bid remains around 4 cents a share higher than Dexus 1 21 a share bid Dexus is far from out of the race to become Australia s top office landlord however with its 15 per cent stake in CPA still of significant value Importantly the group is pushing ahead with due diligence just no longer on an exclusive basis In a statement Dexus indicated it would still consider raising its bid but would first wait for the dust to settle in the market given both offers are cash and scrip proposals The consortium is of the view that in the context of two proposals each of which have a significant scrip component it is too early to respond Dexus said in a statement However the consortium remains strongly committed to the proposal According to The Australian Financial Review Dexus may look to

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/26/breakfast-deals/dataroom-am-saputos-bittersweet-bait (2014-01-12)
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  • DataRoom AM: Determined Dexus | Business Spectator
    There are concerns about GPT being left overloaded with debt if it gets stuck in the 50 90 per cent acceptances range as it will be unable to on sell 1 1 billion of office towers to a related fund Such a circumstance however helps neither Dexus nor GPT and means unlike the possible stalemate in the frenzied bidding for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter a long running stand off is not likely Instead either Dexus which is pushing ahead with due diligence on CPA will raise its offer one last time to trump GPT or the two parties will come to an agreement to split the CPA assets The likelihood of the former is high though Dexus and joint venture partner Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have already raised their bid once and are already pushing toward the upper limit of their valuation The latter option of splitting assets would likely be a challenge between two rivals especially given they are both looking to claim the position of largest office landlord in the country through this deal Still Dexus insists it is keeping its options open for now Dexus reserves its rights to change its intention if new information about the GPT bid is released to the market or the terms of the GPT bid change the group said in a statement In the meantime the share prices of GPT and Dexus are falling which leaves both their cash and scrip bids on a downward spiral Elsewhere the sale of 20 per cent in Australand by major shareholder CapitaLand has been received with limited enthusiasm Some reports suggested that Citigroup which ran the 426 million sale was left hanging onto stock though The Australian believes this was in fact not the case The block trade priced at 3 685 which was at the lower end of the range though still a minimal 1 7 per cent discount from the price of Australand securities at the time the sale was announced But already it is out of the money for those institutions who bought into it with Australand shares drifting 4 per cent lower to 3 60 yesterday Also in property Mirvac Group has priced a 506 million notes issue with the transaction heavily oversubscribed beyond the 150 million target The company has been taking advantage of a recent upgrade in its credit rating by Standard Poor s to tap global debt markets Woodside Petroleum Things are looking up for Woodside Petroleum s interest in the massive Leviathan oil and gas project in Israel with reports that a deal could finally be signed this week It has been a long process for the Western Australian based firm after it first signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire a 30 per cent stake in December last year in what chief executive Peter Coleman has dubbed a once in a decade opportunity Since then the company has waited patiently for a final decision on Israel s gas export policy and after receiving clearance a few weeks ago sought to finalise the deal However the JV partners in the project Delek Group 45 per cent Noble Energy 40 per cent and Ratio Oil Exploration 15 per cent have been holding out for more cash given the increased reserves shored up over the year Crucially a plan to build a pipeline to Turkey also put Woodside s position in doubt with its expertise in floating LNG less valuable to the project s development According to the Israeli based Haaretz the deal hasn t gone cold with executives of the firms including Coleman meeting in New York this week The report suggests a formal contract is likely to be signed before week s end though it could see Woodside fork out as much as 30 per cent as it had originally agreed to Given the price gap and the slow and steady approach of Woodside that timeline may be on the optimistic side of the ledger The news comes after reports that plans to drill for oil at the project have been delayed indefinitely As it stands Woodside is set to pay US1 3 billion 1 38 billion plus royalty payments of up to US1 billion Pact Group Cover More Bis Industries Veda Vocation IPO market Packaging company Pact Group will list on December 17 in a float that is expected to raise 649 million The Raphael Geminder run group will price at 3 80 per share which will deliver a market capitalisation of 1 12 billion and an enterprise value of 1 72 billion toward the low end of expectations When the float was first mooted valuations ran around the 2 billion mark Geminder will retain a 40 per cent stake in the business once listed In other IPO news a float of insurance firm Cover More is still possible before Christmas with The Australian reporting that analysts may start marketing the company next week Owner Crescent Capital Partners has reportedly hired UBS and Macquarie Group to pursue the listing which has been rumoured to raise as much as 700 million It would be a quick turnaround for the investment banks meaning there is every chance the IPO could still not be seen this side of the New Year Elsewhere credit bureaux Veda Group and education and training provider Vocation closed their IPOs early amid robust demand It is the latest sign of a strong IPO market with the Pacific Equity Partners owned Veda to raise 341 million and Vocation to raise 253 million Both companies will hit ASX boards in early mid December BHP Billiton BHP Billiton like close rival Rio Tinto appears far from over its divestment spree In the past year the company has offloaded assets worth around 7 5 billion and BHP Billiton chairman Jacques Nasser yesterday told investors at the miner s Australian AGM that more asset sales were on the agenda though they will be patient and disciplined to ensure nothing is sold on the cheap Noting that the

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/22/breakfast-deals/dataroom-am-determined-dexus (2014-01-12)
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  • DataRoom AM: Murray Goulburn use-by date | Business Spectator
    latest push from the board for shareholders to go with the Canadian suitor That announcement combined with Bega s current local push to shareholders to accept its unconditional bid means MG which has not yet received regulatory approval has precious little time left to convince WCB shareholders and its board of the merits of waiting The desire to wait may require a lift in the current MG offer to 10 a share from the current 9 marker it has laid down Meanwhile Fonterra Australia boss Judith Swales has quashed any lingering speculation the New Zealand dairy giant will make a play for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter So as far as Warrnambool there s opportunities to invest but it s not through bidding for Warrnambool she told The Australian Fonterra has been consistently linked to the WCB takeover though its only entry into the fray was the purchase of a stake in WCB suitor Bega Cheese And Swales maintains that stake was acquired purely to help protect its commercial arrangement with Bega The strength of the Bega share price suggests it is definitely a takeover target in the eyes of the market should it not gain control of WCB Fonterra Saputo and Murray Goulburn would be among the most interested parties Australand CapitaLand Singapore s CapitaLand is the latest investor to capitalise on the strength of the market by following through with a block trade in developer Australand The 426 million sale of 20 per cent was carried out by Citigroup with 115 66 million shares offloaded at between 3 685 and 3 75 a slight discount on average to Australand s last closing price of 3 75 according to The Australian The move means CapitaLand retains 40 per cent in the ASX listed property developer CapitaLand s divestment was largely expected by the market after activity in the real estate sector spurred by bids for the Commonwealth Property Office Fund had seen Australand s shares recently hit a 52 week high Given the success of recent block trades like Teck Resources offload of Fortescue Metals Group stock and CapitaLand s lack of commitment to its Australand investment the company tried to exit earlier last year a block trade was always on the cards However a less than favourable trading update from Australand earlier this week made the task a little harder for Citi than it may have been just a week ago The big interest now is in who bought the stock with Australand long rumoured as a takeover target and Stockland s name regularly appearing on the rumour mill also IPO market Pact Group Bis Industries Redcape GDI Property Pact Group is considered likely to price at the lower end of its range as it gears up to list on the Australian Securities Exchange The Raphael Geminder run packaging company could still end up being the largest float of the year however with its December listing expected to raise around 650 million and value the company above 1 6

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/21/breakfast-deals/dataroom-am-murray-goulburn-use-date (2014-01-12)
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  • DataRoom AM: CPA scramble | Business Spectator
    implement GPT has however likely upset the Commonwealth Bank by not offering any cash in the way of management fees The Dexus deal on the other hand gifts 41 million to the banking giant Both players are looking to claim the position of Australia s top office property owner and won t go quietly into the night now they have both declared their hand But Dexus is likely to wait at least a few days before mulling a new offer given both proposals are cash and scrip and consequently subject to changes in value on a daily basis Murray Goulburn Co operative Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Saputo Bega Cheese Murray Goulburn Co operative one of three suitors in the ongoing stoush for control of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Holdings is likely to seek a partial float on the ASX according to The Australian The shock move from the farmer owned dairy co operative is expected to be announced at the group s AGM on Friday and would represent another twist in the long running takeover battle According to the report Murray Goulburn will float a shareholder fund on the exchange while farmers will retain shareholdings in the unlisted Murray Goulburn co op It would consequently maintain a similar structure to that of New Zealand giant Fonterra If true it is almost certainly a precursor to a new bid from Murray Goulburn which could reach as high as 10 a share This is viewed as necessary for the group to retain its position in the fight given it s the only bidder without regulatory approval and consequently the only suitor that hasn t been able to take its bid unconditional Should Murray Goulburn s offer hit 10 the premium over the WCB board approved 9 a share proposal from Saputo may be enough for the board to shift its favouritism to Murray Goulburn despite the regulatory uncertainty Meanwhile a retreat in Bega s share price yesterday leaves the smallest suitor s cash and scrip deal on par with the 9 a share cash offers from Murray Goulburn and Canada s Saputo That in a nutshell sums up the state of affairs with a stalemate looking a very real possibility National Storage Japara Holdings The 123 7 million float of National Storage REIT has been well received by fund managers ahead of a bookbuild for institutional investors today The sale of close to half of the storage facility owner values the business at 240 million The company will hit ASX boards on December 23 with funds raised to fuel the group s acquisitive streak Meanwhile a major player in the Australian nursing home sector Japara Holdings is planning a listing of its own next year According to The Australian Japara is working with Macquarie Bank on an IPO that would value the company at around 500 million The report comes a month after chief executive Andrew Sudholz said the group was looking to raise capital to fund new developments or

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/20/breakfast-deals/dataroom-am-cpa-scramble (2014-01-12)
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