Hot price for Telstra’s $2.8bn tower sale

Original article by David Swan
The Australian – Page: 15 : 1-Jul-21

Telstra has struck a deal to sell a 49 per cent stake in its mobile phone tower network to a consortium that includes the Future Fund. The telco had previously flagged plans to divest a stake in the InfraCo Towers business via an auction process later in 2020, but Telstra CEO Andrew Penn says the consortium approached it with a "compelling" proposal. Telstra will return about half of the net proceeds of the $2.8bn transaction to its shareholders. Optus is also looking at selling its communications towers.

CORPORATES
TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, AUSTRALIA. FUTURE FUND MANAGEMENT AGENCY, SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD

AGL Energy savaged after demerger given green light

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 1-Jul-21

AGL Energy has incurred the biggest one-day fall in its share price since 2007 after revealing details of its proposed restructuring and demerger. AGL will be rebranded as Accel Energy and retain its coal-fired power plants, while the group’s gas and electricity retailing business will be spun off into a listed company to be called AGL Australia. Acting CEO Graeme Hunt believes that AGL’s shares were sold down in response to changes to its dividend policy and revised earnings guidance, rather than the demerger proposal. Hunt will become CEO of Accel, while chief customer officer Christine Corbett will be CEO of the new AGL. The demerger is subject to shareholder approval.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL

Super giant to reduce its stake in Ausgrid

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 18 : 30-Jun-21

Industry superannuation fund AustralianSuper proposes to reduce its stake in electricity distribution company Ausgrid from 25.2 per cent to about 10 per cent. AustralianSuper and IFM Investors paid $16bn for about 50 per cent of Ausgrid in 2016, as part of the New South Wales government’s privatisation program. AustralianSuper and IFM each have a right of first offer over any sale by the other of their Ausgrid holdings; AustralianSuper is in turn one of the largest shareholders in IFM.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, IFM INVESTORS PTY LTD, AUSGRID PTY LTD

Challenge for AMP over pay, fund deal

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 : 26-Apr-21

AMP’s proposal to spin off its private markets division is set to be a key focus of its virtual AGM on 30 April. Brett Le Mesurier of Velocity Trade has downgraded his share price target for AMP in response to the demerger proposal, which followed AMP’s decision to terminate negotiations with Ares Management over a full or partial sale of the business. Meanwhile, two proxy advisers have recommended that shareholders vote in favour of AMP’s remuneration report, while ISS has called for investors to reject it.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, ARES CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC, INSTITUTIONAL SHAREHOLDER SERVICES INCORPORATED

Pressure builds for AMP break-up

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 12-Oct-20

Simon Mawhinney of Allan Gray Australia says breaking up AMP would be the best option for unlocking the wealth manager’s value. He adds that if a suitor opts to acquire the entire company they are likely to sell off parts of the business. AMP recently revealed plans to undertake a portfolio review, and its board is believed to be planning to update investors on a possible sale of all or part of the company before the end of 2020. Alan Kwan of Australian Eagle Asset Management says AMP may choose to press ahead with a turnaround plan, given the challenges involved in ‘disentangling’ and divesting parts of the business.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN EAGLE ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

BHP’s fresh punt on Bass Strait

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 3-Jul-20

BHP is one of several companies that provided funding for a 11,500sq km seismic survey in Bass Strait. This has prompted speculation that BHP may be hoping to make a new gas discovery as a prelude to divesting its 50 per cent stake in the Bass Strait joint venture. ExxonMobil is pressing ahead with plans to sell its stake; some observers believe that BHP’s non-operating stake could be more appealing to prospective buyers, and that it could potentially secure a deal before ExxonMobil.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION

More may exit NW Shelf, Woodside warns

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 25-Jun-20

Woodside Petroleum director Ann Pickard says the North West Shelf joint venture worked very well at first, but the competing interests of the six partners have progressively gotten in the way. She says other partners could opt to join Chevron in selling out of the LNG venture, given that the NWS plant is set to begin processing third-party gas as the project’s reserves run down. Former Woodside CEO Don Voelte says Shell and BP could potentially sell their NWS stakes.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, NORTH WEST SHELF LNG PTY LTD, CHEVRON CORPORATION, BP PLC, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC

NW Shelf shake-up looming

Original article by Perry Williams
The Weekend Australian – Page: 21 & 22 : 20-Jun-20

Former Woodside Petroleum CEO Don Voelte says a new model for the $34 billion North West Shelf LNG plant that would see it process gas for other firms may not suit some of its current owners. Woodside is one of six joint-venture partners who own the plant, but Chevron has decided to sell out of the plant, and BP and Shell could follow suit. Voelte says he would not surprised to see more selling of assets by major oil firms; he notes that Exxon is currently trying to sell its interest in the Bass Strait assets. He says asset sales have always been part of the majors’ strategy, but they would not get as much now as they would now.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, CHEVRON CORPORATION, BP PLC, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC, EXXON CORPORATION, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

NZME fails in its push to raid Nine’s Stuff

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 15 : 20-May-20

The High Court of New Zealand has rejected NZME’s application for an interim injunction to retain an exclusive negotiation period with Nine Entertainment regarding a deal to buy Stuff Limited. NZME has in turn withdrawn its application to the NZ Commerce Commission to approve the deal. Nine is said to be in talks with other potential buyers of Stuff, whose mastheads include the ‘Dominion Post’. NZME had proposed to buy Stuff for just $NZ1 ($0.93).

CORPORATES
NZME LIMITED – ASX NZM, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, STUFF LIMITED, HIGH COURT OF NEW ZEALAND, NEW ZEALAND. COMMERCE COMMISSION

Restructure or sell? News Corp sizes up some assets

Original article by Max Mason, Sarah Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 24 : 12-May-20

Sources have indicated that News Corp Australia will restructure its regional and community newspapers arm if a deal to sell the business cannot be reached quickly. News Corp has held talks about selling the newspapers to Australian Community Media. It is believed that a key issue for News Corp is the value of the mastheads in terms of cross-marketing with REA Group; ACM’s joint owner Antony Catalano has a 26 per cent stake in rival property listings portal Real Estate View.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, REA GROUP LIMITED – ASX REA, REALESTATE.COM.AU, REALESTATEVIEW.COM.AU LIMITED, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA