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

Crown property assets spin-off on the cards

Original article by James Thomson, Larry Schlesinger
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 1-May-20

Citi analyst Bryan Raymond contends having Blackstone as a new shareholder increases the likelihood that casino operator Crown Resorts could spin-off its property assets. Crown contemplated the idea in June 2016, but abandoned the idea some months later. It is estimated Crown’s property assets could be worth up to $5.6 billion, while Dean Dransfield from consultants Dransfield Hotels and Resorts says Crown should only sell its accommodation assets.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, CITI AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, BLACKSTONE, DRANSFIELD HOTELS AND RESORTS PTY LTD

AMP wins Chinese approval for life sale

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 10-Feb-20

The China Banking & Insurance Regulatory Commission is understood to have given its approval for AMP’s $2.5 billion divestment of AMP Life to Resolution Life. However, the transaction still has a number of hurdles to overcome, including approval from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board. Hamish Carlisle from Merlon Capital Partner says that if Chinese regulators have approved the transaction then this should be disclosed to the Australian sharemarket

CORPORATES
CHINA BANKING AND INSURANCE REGULATORY COMMISSION, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD

Cyber squatters nab South32, poke their tongue at BHP

Original article by Paul Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 10-Dec-14

BHP Billiton has ruled out buying the South32.com domain name, which is owned by a company based in Malibu. It is believed to have demanded $A10m to surrender the name. BHP recently revealed South32 as the name of the spin-off that will hold its non-core assets, and says it was not willing to pay the price being sought by the domain name’s owner. Experts say BHP should have ensured that it owned the .com domain as well as related domain names

CORPORATES
BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, .AU DOMAIN ADMINISTRATION LIMITED, FABULOUS DOMAINS, DARK BLUE SEA LIMITED, KARI BIAN FILM COMPANY, SOUTH32 LIMITED, NTEGRITY PTY LTD

NAB, ANZ to be grilled over wealth exits

Original article by Aleks Vickovich
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 15-Nov-19

A federal parliamentary committee is examining the financial services sector’s response to the Hayne royal commission. ANZ Bank CEO Shayne Elliott and National Australia Bank chairman and acting CEO Philip Chronican will appear before the committee on 15 November. Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh, who is the committee’s deputy chairman, says he is concerned about the amount of time the two banks are taking to divest their wealth management units; he says the general public expects the divestments to proceed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

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