Mags next as Seven rings in changes

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 23 : 7-Oct-19

Pacific ­Magazines may be the next casualty of Seven West Media’s restructuring under new CEO James Warburton, with reports that Seven is in talks to sell the business to Bauer Media. The two parties have declined to comment on the potential deal, which would have to be approved by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. Pacific Magazines’ revenue fell by 7.2 per cent in 2018-19, to $129.4m. About 180 jobs are expected to be cut at Seven West Media as part of the restructuring.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PACIFIC MAGAZINES PTY LTD, BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, BAUER MEDIA KG

Rio puts Canada IPO plan on hold

Original article by Rhiannon Hoyle
The Australian – Page: 20 : 1-Oct-19

Mining giant Rio Tinto has advised that it is longer seeking to divest its controlling stake in Iron Ore Co of Canada via a trade sale or IPO. The recent volatility in the price of iron ore has affected the potential sale price of the business, in which Rio Tinto has a 59 per cent stake. Rio Tinto first flagged plans to sell the Canadian business in 2013, and CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques indicated in 2017 that the resources giant would not hold a "fire sale" of unwanted assets.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, IRON ORE COMPANY OF CANADA, MITSUBISHI CORPORATION, LABRADOR IRON ORE ROYALTY INCOME CORPORATION

ExxonMobil to exit Bass Strait gas and oilfields

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 17 : 19-Sep-19

Oil major ExxonMobil is to put its 50 per cent stake in the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture on the market. ExxonMobil holds its 50 per cent interest in the GBJV through Esso, with BHP owning the other 50 per cent. It has been suggested that ExxonMobil could secure up to US2.5 billion ($3.65 billion) for its share of the GBJV, which houses offshore oil and gas assets in Bass Strait and the Longford and Long Island Point plants in Victoria. There is speculation that BHP might seek to put its share of the GBJV up for sale as well as a result of ExxonMobil’s announcement.

CORPORATES
EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION, ESSO AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

South32 poised to exit S African coal assets as profit plunges

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 20 : 23-Aug-19

Diversified miner South32 has posted a 2018-19 statutory net profit of $US389m, which is 71 per cent lower than previously. The result was marred by a $US504m impairment charge associated with its South African thermal coal assets. Underlying earnings fell by 25 per cent to $US992m. Meanwhile, South32 is set to sell its South African coal mines to Seriti Resources, and CEO Graham Kerr has ruled out buying any more thermal coal assets, including BHP’s Mt Arthur mine.

CORPORATES
SOUTH32 LIMITED – ASX S32, SERITI RESORCES, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

Investors query AMP turnaround

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 9-Aug-19

AMP has announced a loss of $2.3bn for the first half of 2019 and a new strategy to turn around its fortunes. Amongst other things, the wealth manager aims to reduce costs by about $300m a year. AMP has also flagged plans to significantly reduce the number of financial advisers in its network and place more emphasis on so-called roboadvice. AMP will also continue to pursue the sale of its life insurance business to Resolution Life, while it will issue new shares at $1.50 apiece via a $650m capital raising.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Woolies gives up liquor and gambling

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 18 : 4-Jul-19

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci says the retail giant has been working on the proposed demerger of its liquor and hotels business for more than a year. Endeavour Group will be created via the merger of pubs and poker machines operator ALH Group and Endeavour Drinks, which owns the Dan Murphy’s and BSW liquor chains. Woolworths plans to divest Endeavour Group via a demerger, trade sale or IPO in 2020 and retain a minority stake. Woolworths has attracted criticism over its exposure to poker machines, but Banducci stresses that this was not a driver of the demerger proposal.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, ENDEAVOUR GROUP, ALH GROUP LIMITED, DAN MURPHY’S, BWS – BEER WINE SPIRITS, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED, LANGTON’S, CELLARMASTER WINES PTY LTD, PINNACLE DRINKS, THE MATHIESON GROUP PTY LTD, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, THE QUANTIUM GROUP PTY LTD

Nine dices up inherited events arm

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 22-May-19

Sydney’s City2Surf race is among five sports events that the Ironman Group will acquire from Nine Entertainment in a deal worth $31m. Nine will retain about seven of the events that were previously part of Fairfax Media’s events business, including the Night Noodle Markets and Good Food Month. They will be integrated into Nine’s publishing division, while a number of smaller events will be discontinued. Chinese-owned Ironman Group manages more than 230 events in 53 countries.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, IRONMAN GROUP, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, WANDA GROUP, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, THORNEY INVESTMENT GROUP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Nine close to selling Fairfax events business

Original article by Carrie LaFrenz
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 2-May-19

Nine Entertainment Company is slated to receive final bids for Fairfax Media’s events business within days. Nine CEO Hugh Marks expects a deal to offload the business to be completed shortly. However, he has cautioned that Nine is unlikely to secure a deal to sell Fairfax’s New Zealand division by the end of June. Nine recently secured a deal to sell Fairfax’s portfolio of regional newspapers for $125m. Marks has reiterated Nine’s previous guidance for earnings growth of at least 10 per cent in 2018-19.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, STUFF LIMITED, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, METRO MEDIA PUBLISHING PTY LTD, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, WALT DISNEY COMPANY

Catalano swoops on Nine’s regional papers

Original article by John Stensholt, Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 & 24 : 1-May-19

Nine Entertainment Company has sold its portfolio of regional newspapers to former Domain Holdings CEO Antony Catalano. He will pay $125m for the assets in partnership with Alex Waislitz’s Thorney Investment Group. Catalano forecasts that the Australian Community Media business will post EBITDA of around $42m in 2018-19 and about $50m in 2019-20. The Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance has urged ACM’s new owners to commit to maintaining quality journalism in regional communities. Nine also intends to sell Fairfax Media’s events business and its New Zealand assets.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, THORNEY INVESTMENT GROUP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, STUFF LIMITED, MORNINGSTAR PTY LTD

Westpac retreats from financial advice

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 16 : 20-Mar-19

Westpac will cease serving its existing personal financial advice customers at the end of June, after striking a deal with Viridian to exit the sector. Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer concedes that its personal finance advice business has not been profitable for some time, and increased regulation was a major factor in its decision to withdraw from the sector. Westpac faces restructuring costs of $250m to $300m, while about 900 full-time equivalent employees will be impacted by the decision to exit financial advice. Westpac expects the move to result in annual savings of $280m by 2020.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, VIRIDIAN ADVISORY PTY LTD