Court clears Village deal as dissenter stays away

Original article by Max Maddison
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 27 : 16-Dec-20

The Federal Court has approved BGH Capital’s deal to acquire cinemas and theme parks group Village Roadshow. The company’s shareholders recently endorsed BGH’s scheme A offer of $3 per share. New York-based fund manager Mittleman Brothers opted against making an application to appear before the court, having been a vocal opponent of the takeover bid. BGH will have a 78 per cent stake in Village Roadshow, while the Kirby family and former CEO Graham Burke will hold a stake of about 22 per cent

CORPORATES
VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, BGH CAPITAL PTY LTD, MITTLEMAN BROTHERS LLC, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

BGH lifts takeover offer for Village

Original article by Ben Wilmot
The Australian – Page: 21 : 20-Nov-20

BGH Capital is set to increase its takeover offer for Village Roadshow from $2.22 per share to $3, valuing its revised bid at $586m. Spheria Asset Management’s portfolio manager Matthew Booker has previously indicated that an offer of around $3 per share should satisfy shareholders; Spheria has a 7.8 per cent stake in Village. However, 14.34 per cent shareholder Mittleman Brothers is of the view that the revised offer still undervalues the cinemas and theme parks group.

CORPORATES
VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, BGH CAPITAL PTY LTD, SPHERIA ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

Screen industry set for $400m federal boost

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 17-Jul-20

The federal government has announced $400 million in additional funding for the film and television industry as Australia hopes to take advantage of its success in dealing with COVID-19 to lure productions from other countries. The government hopes the expansion of its incentive scheme rules will help support as many as 8,000 short and long-term jobs a year, while large film and TV projects are reckoned to be worth $3 billion in foreign expenditure. The government has previously announced $250 million in support to help get Australia’s creative economy reactivated over the next 12 months.

CORPORATES

BGH bid to take Village Roadshow private

Original article by Elouise Fowler
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 : 19-May-20

Shares in theme parks and cinemas operator Village Roadshow rose 17 per cent to $2.09 on 18 May after it advised that private equity firm BGH Capital is in discussions to acquire it for up to $468.5 million. BGH’s due diligence on Village is expected to take four weeks, and its bid is subject to a number of conditions, including obtaining Foreign Investment Review Board approval and securing debt financing. As well as advising of BGH’s offer, Village provided an trading update which noted that it only had $58 million in cash at the end of April.

CORPORATES
VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, BGH CAPITAL PTY LTD

Chinese giant snaps up Beatles

Original article by James Dean
The Australian – Page: 3 : 2-Jan-20

A consortium led by Chinese internet company Tencent has signed a deal to buy 10 per cent of Universal Music Group, with an option to increase its stake to 20 per cent within a year. UMG, which is the world’s largest music label, is a unit of French company Vivendi, which also owns advertising group Havas and pay-TV company Canal+. The deal gives the Tencent-led consortium access to the back catalogues of Queen and the Beatles, along with artists such as Adele and Taylor Swift.

CORPORATES
TENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, VIVENDI SA, HAVAS, CANAL PLUS SA

Village Roadshow screened rival offer before Pacific Equity Partners deal

Original article by Kylar Loussikian, Jennifer Duke
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 24-Dec-19

Morningstar estimates that there is a 75 per cent chance that Village Roadshow Limited shareholders will accept a takeover proposal from Pacific Equity Partners. Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Village Roadshow Corporation’s owners considered a rival offer from BGH Capital before agreeing to accept PEP’s offer for its stake in VRL. VRC is owned by Robert Kirby, John Kirby and VRL CEO Graham Burke.

CORPORATES
VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, VILLAGE ROADSHOW CORPORATION LIMITED, PACIFIC EQUITY PARTNERS PTY LTD, BGH CAPITAL PTY LTD, MORNINGSTAR PTY LTD

Private equity raids the Village

Original article by Ben Wilmot, Bridget Carter
The Australian – Page: 15 & 21 : 20-Dec-19

Pacific Equity Partners has made a conditional, non-binding and indicative takeover offer for cinemas and theme parks group Village Roadshow. The offer of $3.90 per share values Village at about $1bn, or $761.2m when its debt is excluded. Shares in Village closed $0.69 higher at $3.89 on 19 December, in response to the private equity firm’s scheme of arrangement proposal.

CORPORATES
VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, PACIFIC EQUITY PARTNERS PTY LTD, VILLAGE ROADSHOW CORPORATION LIMITED, MORNINGSTAR PTY LTD

The Nightingale on song at AACTAs

Original article by Philippa Hawker, Kieran Gair
The Australian – Page: 3 : 5-Dec-19

‘The Nightingale’ won four Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts awards on 4 December. They included the categories of best film, best director and best screenplay; the film previously received two awards in the first stage of the AACTAs presentation earlier in the week. Meanwhile, ‘Total Control’ has won the award for best TV drama series, while ‘Lambs of God’ was named the best telefeature or mini-series.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ACADEMY OF CINEMA AND TELEVISION ARTS

Free TV miffed by government’s iceberg of policy in a sea of nothing

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 15-Apr-19

Free TV Australia CEO Bridget Fair has criticised the federal government’s failure to relax the content requirements of traditional broadcasters after nearly six years in office. She was responding to its decision to allow streaming video companies to access tax offsets for content that is filmed in Australia. Traditional broadcasters remain subject to quotas for content such as children’s programs and adult dramas. Fair contends that such quotas do not reflect changes in viewing habits.

CORPORATES
FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, AMAZON PRIME VIDEO, TEN ALL-ACCESS

Lachlan could reunite Murdoch family empire

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 30 : 25-Mar-19

Lachlan Murdoch has taken over as CEO of Fox Corporation, while he remains co-chairman of News Corporation. There is speculation that he may seek to re-combine the two Murdoch family businesses, but any action on this front would be unlikely to occur for at least another two years. Like his father Rupert, Lachlan Murdoch is regarded as being passionate about publishing; he began his involvement with News Corp at the age of 16 when he cleaned printing presses in Queensland.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, FOX CORPORATION, REA GROUP LIMITED – ASX REA, WALT DISNEY COMPANY, 21ST CENTURY FOX INCORPORATED