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  • DataRoom AM: Warrnambool wildcard | Business Spectator
    come out in favour of Murray Goulburn given its promise of a national dairy champion to rival New Zealand s Fonterra For the rural MPs and Nationals Party which created the pressure to block a takeover of Australian grain handling leader GrainCorp the notion of a local dairy leader would be appealing at the expense of a takeover of agricultural assets by Canadian dairy giant Saputo It should be noted however the call for government comment is no more than a request Murray Goulburn is fighting an uphill battle given previous concerns flagged by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission when Murray was blocked from buying WCB a few years ago Just before Christmas the ACCC provided its input to the tribunal with little fanfare which raised several doubts without giving a definitive view on the deal The competition watchdog also put forward a request for any authorisation to be given over a period of time Since market conditions market structure and other relevant facts and competitive dynamics can change over time the ACCC considers that it is appropriate for any authorisation to be granted for a specified time period and that 12 months is likely to be an appropriate period the ACCC advised the tribunal Meanwhile Bega Cheese remains the wildcard in the proceedings with its near 19 per cent stake crucial to any party wanting to reach the 50 per cent mark According to The Australian Bega is looking to shop its stake to the highest bidder which right now is Murray Goulburn albeit with a more conditional offer Indeed it appears that if you want Warrnambool you better buy out Bega Bega was the first suitor for WCB in the long running takeover battle but now it has dropped out of the race it is considered a good bet to turn from predator to prey in the next year or two as consolidation of the Australian dairy sector gathers pace Woodside Petroleum As Woodside Petroleum continues to weigh an option to buy into the huge Leviathan gas field the partners in the Israeli project are moving forward The latest development was the signing of a 1 2 billion 20 year deal with the Palestine Power Generation Company PPGC the first export contract for the offshore gas field Meanwhile Woodside which in December 2012 signed a memorandum of understanding to buy a 30 per cent stake in Leviathan at up to US2 3 billion is reportedly close to putting pen to paper on a firm deal According to Israeli news service Globes Woodside could sign on the dotted line within days but on less favourable terms than it agreed through the MOU The report suggested the Australian giant would be willing to accept a 25 per cent stake for more than what it was willing to pay for 30 per cent It is likely that the group will end up offering a conditional US2 5 billion to US3 billion for the rights to 25 per cent of a

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/1/8/dataroom/dataroom-am-warrnambool-wildcard (2014-01-12)
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  • DataRoom AM: Private post | Business Spectator
    can be put down to the first sentence of the AFR piece which read The national competition regulator has urged Prime Minister Tony Abbott to sell off assets such as Australia Post and Medibank Private and push for the privatisation of state owned energy companies The problem is Sims never said anything specific about Australia Post or Medibank Private The closest he came to doing so was this quote I strongly believe that the private sector owning commercial assets will bring about a lot more productive use of the assets than government ownership of the assets Rod Sims said The watchdog confirmed yesterday afternoon that while Sims held the general view that the private sector runs commercial enterprises more efficiently than government there was no reference made to privatise any specific Commonwealth owned entity The upshot of all the action was essentially nothing but it has restarted the conversation on whether Australia Post should be put on the market For now however Medibank Private will be the first cab off the rank with a multi billion dollar trade sale or IPO likely in the fourth quarter of this year or early in 2015 Meanwhile Australia Post the more complicated privatisation option of the two due to its loss making letters business will wait for another day Turnbull and transport minister Warren Truss have dismissed it as a divestment option on several occasions but the National Commission of Audit and competition policy review may lead to a change of view for the government Those reviews and the budget troubles will likely see the government at least pursue a scoping study at some point in the next couple of years It will be met with concern from the Nationals however who will be worried that a new owner s will cripple services to the bush in a bid to turn around the fortunes of the legacy letters business Dexus Property Group GPT Group Commonwealth Property Office Fund The race to become Australia s largest office landlord appears likely to be won by Dexus Property Group While the hard fought battle for Commonwealth Property Office Fund is not yet over Dexus has reached an agreement with rival bidder GPT Group to offload over 1 billion worth of properties to GPT should Dexus reach 90 per cent acceptances The memorandum of understanding struck last night has not led GPT to drop its bid though that may be a mere formality Dexus which has also increased the cash component of its bid at the expense of scrip of a similar value kick started the bidding process with joint venture partner Canada Pension Plan Investment Board back in October After GPT entered the race in November a revised offer from the Dexus led JV saw it claim the backing of the independent board of CPA in December The Dexus offer is due to close on February 7 while GPT s is due to close on January 24 BP Royal Dutch Shell Rumours of an exit of

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/1/7/dataroom/dataroom-am-private-post (2014-01-12)
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  • DataRoom AM: Woodside’s worries | Business Spectator
    in 2017 Meanwhile the long awaited block trade of Royal Dutch Shell s shareholding in Woodside is rumoured to be close The oil and gas major s 7 4 billion 23 1 per cent stake in Woodside could be up for grabs in a matter of weeks according to The Australian Shell has reportedly been shopping the shareholding around to large sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia over recent months The stake is the remnants of its failed takeover bid for Woodside in 2001 which was blocked by then treasurer Peter Costello Shell offloaded around 10 per cent back in 2010 with strong rumours of an imminent exit ever since It has however been patient with its shareholding Shell would no doubt have been watching the successful block trades in Fortescue Metals Group Aurizon and Australand last year with interest and has every reason to believe there will be plenty of interest in its Woodside stake The main issue is the size with a 7 4 billion shareholding not easy to get rid of easily An update from the company on divestment plans is expected on January 30 The Australian said Telstra Corporation Telstra Corporation signed a US2 4 billion agreement to offload its Hong Kong based mobiles business CSL to HKT Limited in late December Telstra which is awaiting regulatory approval for the sale said the deal would see it reap around 2 billion for its 76 4 per cent shareholding in CSL Telstra chief executive David Thodey told shareholders there were a number of dynamics in the Hong Kong market that made the time right to sell the growing business The news is the latest development in its Asian businesses following just over a month after it announced plans to list Chinese car sales website Autohome on the New York Stock Exchange The float which saw Telstra s shareholding diluted to 66 per cent was well received by the market when it hit boards on December 11 Telstra s investment is now worth 2 billion around 20 times what it paid for its stake The stock of Autohome not only listed at the top end of the indicative range but has since more than doubled Saputo Warrnambool Cheese and Butter As expected the takeover battle for Warrnambool Cheese Butter has dragged into the new year With WCB shareholders distracted by the festive season Saputo is thought likely to have only lifted its stake in the firm to around 18 per cent similar to the levels of Bega Cheese and Murray Goulburn The Canadian dairy firm s offer ceases this Friday though another extension is considered likely as it seeks to convince Bega and Kirin Holdings to sell their 18 8 and 10 per cent stakes WCB isn t the only dairy asset reportedly up for grabs with rumours in December swirling around the prospect of Italy s Parmalat buying WA based Harvey Fresh and speculation Kirin Holdings may be looking for a joint venture partner

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/1/6/dataroom/dataroom-am-woodsides-worries (2014-01-12)
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  • DataRoom AM: Unclogging Clydesdale | Business Spectator
    get a better price this year Last year NAB boss Cameron Clyne told investors he would consider spinning off the UK business should the UK government s privatisation plans for its 33 per cent stake in Lloyds Banking Group be well received The British government has said it will offload the stake this year as the latest UK growth jobs and inflation numbers suggest an economic recovery has taken root Still M A activity remains subdued but as soon as it gathers pace which some market watchers argue is already occurring it would be a surprise if NAB didn t at least test the waters on a sale There have also been rumours that the improving economic conditions could lead NAB to be a buyer in the UK market but that seems a far fetched expectation given the troubles it has experienced in the region and the likely investor pushback NAB entered the UK market over two decades ago through the 1987 purchase of Clydesdale Bank It has since added to the unit with the purchase of the Yorkshire Bank It s not the only possible sale NAB could consider with some analysts suggesting part of its wealth management division MLC may also be up for grabs in the near term Nomura bank analyst Victor German told The Australian Financial Review that NAB may be wise to pursue the option of outsourcing its product manufacturing I can see a scenario where all banks not just NAB will potentially look to divest the underwriting businesses he told the paper MLC is one of the more obvious candidates They ve had some challenges this year coupled with under performance over the last decade At this point the rumours are little more than analyst exuberance and the UK business is more likely to be up for grabs before any part of the MLC business is hived off NAB acquired MLC for 4 56 billion at the turn of the century Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Bega Cheese Saputo Kirin Holdings Fonterra Murray Goulburn Saputo is widely expected to extend its bid for Warrnambool Cheese Butter today ahead of its current deadline expiring at 1900 AEDT The lack of communication about its plans has raised eyebrows however with reports the quiet approach may again see it receive attention from the Takeovers Panel It is rare for a company to wait to the day of a deadline to declare an extension to an on market bid but little about this long running saga has been normal Separately the Canadian dairy firm announced it had cleared the 20 per cent mark in acceptances meaning it is now the largest shareholder in WCB But there s still a long way to go to achieve a seemingly elusive majority shareholding Meanwhile rumours of Bega Cheese being chased by NZ giant Fonterra assisted the former s share price yesterday with Bega adding over 2 per cent in a broadly flat market Bega is one of the best candidates for a

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/1/10/dataroom/dataroom-am-unclogging-clydesdale?destination=node/765596 (2014-01-12)
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  • DataRoom AM: Juicy deals
    giant is working hard to convince major shareholders Kirin Holdings and Bega Cheese to sell their stakes though is finding that task challenging right now While Bega has indicated a desire to sell it has yet to decide who it will sell to Meanwhile Kirin told Business Spectator s DataRoom yesterday that it had no plans to sell its 9 9 per cent stake at this stage As we have discussed on several occasions the dairy consolidation goes far beyond the fight for WCB There have also been indications that United Dairy Power could offload part of its business WA based Harvey Fresh is considered likely to be in the sights of Parmalat and Bega Cheese is tipped to be the next target once the WCB battle is sorted In relation to the latter the AFR has reported that Fonterra which holds just shy of 10 per cent of Bega stock could make a bid for Bega When the NZ dairy firm bought into Bega last year it said it was just looking to claim a seat at the table should any bidder emerge but there are now suggestions it has been open about a desire to acquire Bega in conversation with some investors Nothing Bega or Fonterra have publically said suggest a merger is imminent but it would be a logical consolidation move for Fonterra If it does make a play though there might be plenty of other suitors ready to tip their hats into the ring It will be worth watching the share price of Bega today to assess whether the market is reading much into the reports The company s shares are already at a level where a takeover premium has been partly priced in ANZ Banking Group Wing Hang Bank It appears clear that ANZ Banking Group has once again lost out in an attempt to gain a foothold in the lucrative Hong Kong banking sector Last year ANZ was rumoured to be one of two banks chasing Hong Kong s Wing Hang Bank but speculation it dropped out of the race has now been confirmed with Wing Hang entering into exclusive talks with Singapore based OCBC The deal is likely to be worth upwards of 5 billion with ANZ likely to have baulked at the asking price which will be above two times book value It is the second time an approach for a Hong Kong bank by ANZ has come to nothing in recent years with the Australian banking giant also shying away from Wing Lung in 2008 on the view the asking price was too high Hong Kong banks are highly sought after due to their position as a stepping stone to China and their potential to capitalise on the growing international use of the yuan However there are few available banking assets in the financial centre of much value left after a wave of acquisitions in recent years making bidding particularly heated Oz Minerals Sandfire Resources It had long been expected that

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/print/765196 (2014-01-12)
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  • DataRoom AM: Juicy deals | Business Spectator
    active with purchases of financial planning company IPAC Securities 2001 packaging hire company Loscam 2003 and most famously the buyout of Colorado Group 2006 The latter was a disaster with the clothing and footwear group entering receivership under the burden of heavy debts in 2011 Retail Zoo which also owns the Cibo Espresso and Salsa s Fresh Mex Grill franchises is being advised by UBS on the sale Warrnambool Cheese Butter Saputo Kirin Holdings Bega Cheese Parmalat Harvey Fresh Fonterra The deadline for Saputo s bid for Warrnambool Cheese Butter is just one day away and there s still no sign of an extension Expect some news on that front today with Saputo widely expected to stretch its offer deadline by a fortnight The Canadian dairy giant is working hard to convince major shareholders Kirin Holdings and Bega Cheese to sell their stakes though is finding that task challenging right now While Bega has indicated a desire to sell it has yet to decide who it will sell to Meanwhile Kirin told Business Spectator s DataRoom yesterday that it had no plans to sell its 9 9 per cent stake at this stage As we have discussed on several occasions the dairy consolidation goes far beyond the fight for WCB There have also been indications that United Dairy Power could offload part of its business WA based Harvey Fresh is considered likely to be in the sights of Parmalat and Bega Cheese is tipped to be the next target once the WCB battle is sorted In relation to the latter the AFR has reported that Fonterra which holds just shy of 10 per cent of Bega stock could make a bid for Bega When the NZ dairy firm bought into Bega last year it said it was just looking to claim a seat at the table should any bidder emerge but there are now suggestions it has been open about a desire to acquire Bega in conversation with some investors Nothing Bega or Fonterra have publically said suggest a merger is imminent but it would be a logical consolidation move for Fonterra If it does make a play though there might be plenty of other suitors ready to tip their hats into the ring It will be worth watching the share price of Bega today to assess whether the market is reading much into the reports The company s shares are already at a level where a takeover premium has been partly priced in ANZ Banking Group Wing Hang Bank It appears clear that ANZ Banking Group has once again lost out in an attempt to gain a foothold in the lucrative Hong Kong banking sector Last year ANZ was rumoured to be one of two banks chasing Hong Kong s Wing Hang Bank but speculation it dropped out of the race has now been confirmed with Wing Hang entering into exclusive talks with Singapore based OCBC The deal is likely to be worth upwards of 5 billion with ANZ

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/1/9/dataroom/dataroom-am-juicy-deals?destination=node/765196 (2014-01-12)
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  • Korea, China jostle for Aust resources | Business Spectator
    a mainstream success Climate Carbon markets Energy markets Renewable energy Resources Solar energy Wind power CleanTech Science Environment Green Deals Policy Politics Smart Energy Latest stories Marking the milestones of 2013 Australia s transition to a clean energy economy took some political blows in 2013 but progress on the ground was heartening with energy efficiency solar and wind all providing tangible proof of their future potential A fifth year of declining power consumption Power consumption fell again in 2013 dipping 2 8 per cent across the National Electricity Market as scheduled renewables rose to 12 per cent of the market Industries Advertising and Marketing Agribusiness Automotive Aviation Construction and Engineering Education Family Business Financial Services Food and Beverages Gaming and Racing Health and Pharmaceuticals HR Industrial relations Information Technology Infrastructure Insurance Manufacturing Media and Digital Resources and Energy Professional Services Property Retail Small Business SME Telecommunications The Ashes Tourism Transport and Logistics Video KGB TV China Spectator CEO Hub Leadership Lab Management Insights Young Leaders Knowledge Centre Adapt or Die Knowledge Hub Business Accelerators Webinars eBooks Menu Korea China jostle for Aust resources 10 Jan 3 59 PM 1 Industries Resources and Energy Economy China Mining junior Rex Minerals among first to benefit from competition report You must be logged in to read this article Not a member yet Register today Business Spectator is available on all of your devices so you can access the latest news and commentary where and how you like Register now Already a member Sign in here Email Address Enter your Email Address Password Enter the password that accompanies your Email Address Remember me Log in Request new password Chinese and South Korean companies are jostling for access to new Australian resources projects to the benefit of local companies according to The Australian Among those seen to profit from the competition is ASX listed copper play Rex Minerals Ltd which has seen Korean conglomerate Hyundai challenge the China Nonferrous Metal Industry NFC for the engineering and construction contractor rights to Rex s Hillside copper project in South Australia NFC were first movers on this Hyundai came to us later in the piece and we have been very very impressed with the amount of people that they have mobilised on to the project and the amount of progress they have made to get to this stage Rex managing director Mark Parry told The Australian Copper is very important to the Korean industry and they want to make sure that they are having their share of the world pie Rex is hoping to begin construction on the project this year Print this page Related articles 13 Jan BHP faces buyback pressure 13 Jan Indonesia ban no issue Palmer 10 Jan OM Holdings CEO resigns 10 Jan Fed govt should support Alcoa ALP 10 Jan Solar and wind competitive with fossil fuels Gov t economist More from Business Spectator Technology Adapt or die Commercial The Future of Energy Family Business Alan Kohler s Family Business China China Spectator

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2014/1/10/resources-and-energy/korea-china-jostle-aust-resources (2014-01-12)
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  • China trade balance contracts | Business Spectator
    National Electricity Market as scheduled renewables rose to 12 per cent of the market Industries Advertising and Marketing Agribusiness Automotive Aviation Construction and Engineering Education Family Business Financial Services Food and Beverages Gaming and Racing Health and Pharmaceuticals HR Industrial relations Information Technology Infrastructure Insurance Manufacturing Media and Digital Resources and Energy Professional Services Property Retail Small Business SME Telecommunications The Ashes Tourism Transport and Logistics Video KGB TV China Spectator CEO Hub Leadership Lab Management Insights Young Leaders Knowledge Centre Adapt or Die Knowledge Hub Business Accelerators Webinars eBooks Menu China trade balance contracts 10 Jan 2 57 PM 2 Economy China Official data shows surplus narrowed more than expected exports rise You must be logged in to read this article Not a member yet Register today Business Spectator is available on all of your devices so you can access the latest news and commentary where and how you like Register now Already a member Sign in here Email Address Enter your Email Address Password Enter the password that accompanies your Email Address Remember me Log in Request new password By a staff reporter with Dow Jones Newswires and AAP China s trade surplus contracted more than expected in December according to official data In December China s trade surplus was US25 64 billion down from US33 8 billion in November the General Administration of Customs announced on Friday Bloomberg analysts had expected a trade surplus of 32 15 billion in the month Exports rose 4 3 per cent on year in December down from November s 12 7 per cent rise and below the median forecast for a 4 5 per cent expansion Imports rose 8 3 per cent on year up from a 5 3 per cent rise in November and beating the economists median forecast for a 5 per cent increase Meanwhile the country s annual trade surplus reached US259 75 billion A292 96 billion in 2013 up 12 8 per cent from the previous year Exports rose 7 9 per cent in the year to US2 21 trillion A2 49 trillion while imports increased 7 3 per cent to US1 95 trillion The country s total trade in goods for last year came to US4 16 trillion an increase of 7 6 per cent just below the government s target of eight per cent The European Union was China s biggest trading partner Customs said followed by the United States the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN Hong Kong and Japan Between them the traditional markets of the EU US and Japan accounted for 33 5 per cent of China s trade down 1 7 percentage points indicating that emerging markets share of business was growing Print this page Related articles 10 Jan Korea China jostle for Aust resources 10 Jan Volvo Cars sales up in 2013 10 Jan China s Fosun buys Portuguese insurer in privatisation 10 Jan Australia is not the key to China s resource prison 09 Jan China worries hurt Aust

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2014/1/10/china/china-trade-balance-contracts (2014-01-12)
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