Amazon tops $1bn sales but still in red

Original article by David Ross
The Australian – Page: 15 : 9-Feb-21

Digital giant Amazon has advised that its Australian arm posted a loss of $3.8m in 2020, following a $2.5m loss previously. However, Amazon Australia boasted total sales of $1.12bn in 2020, compared with just $562.1m in 2019. The company’s online stores recorded sales totalling $511m, while its subscription services’ sales rose from $35.4m to $90m. Amazon entered the local market in late 2017, and it now employs nearly 1,000 people in Australia.

CORPORATES
AMAZON.COM INCORPORATED

Beijing a buyer in Shell gas facilities

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 2 : 24-Dec-20

The deal for Global Infrastructure Partners to buy a stake in the Queensland Curtis LNG project’s infrastructure could potentially be vetoed on national interest grounds. It has been revealed that China Investment Corporation is a minority investor in the GIP fund that struck the $US2.5bn ($3.3bn) deal to buy part of Shell’s stake in the LNG infrastructure. The deal must be cleared by the Foreign Investment Review Board, although Treasurer Josh Frydenberg can override the FIRB under changes to foreign investment rules that were made earlier in 2020.

CORPORATES
GLOBAL INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERS,QUEENSLAND CURTIS LNG PTY LTD,CHINA INVESTMENT CORPORATION,ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC,AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD,AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Failed Xinja scored secret China lifeline

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 14 : 21-Dec-20

Xinja recently handed back its banking licence to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority following its failure to secure a $433 million injection from Dubai-based World Investments, while sources have stated that Xinja failed to secure any monies from Australian institutional investors. It has been revealed that Xinja secured a multimillion-dollar capital injection from a "shadowy" Chinese company during 2019, but that it kept the investment a secret; it is believed the company in question was called Happy Sino Steel.

CORPORATES
XINJA BANK LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, HAPPY SINO STEEL, WORLD INVESTMENTS

AusSuper goes solo in $5bn Infratil bid

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 13 & 19 : 9-Dec-20

AustralianSuper is offering $NZ7.43 ($7.04) per share in an indicative, non-binding takeover offer for New Zealand-based Infratil. The offer comprises a cash component of $NZ5.79 per share and an in-specie distribution of shares in renewable energy provider Trustpower. The bid for the dual-listed Infratil is the first major deal that AustralianSuper has pursued on its own; the industry fund has previously teamed up with co-investors to bid for companies such as Navitas and Healthscope. AustralianSuper is said to have been looking at Infratil for at least a year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, INFRATIL LIMITED – ASX IFT, NAVITAS LIMITED, HEALTHSCOPE LIMITED

China fallout hits Woodside gas sale plan

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 & 18 : 12-Nov-20

Woodside Petroleum CEO Peter Coleman says potential Chinese investors have abandoned talks to acquire a stake in Scarborough gas project due to the growing trade tensions between Australia and China. He adds that this contributed to Woodside’s decision to drop plans to reduce its stake in the Scarborough project and focus on selling a stake in the Pluto-2 project. Coleman has stressed that relations between Woodside and its existing Chinese customers and partners remain strong.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL

Binding deed puts Amatil a step closer to European takeover

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 5-Nov-20

Coca-Cola European Partners has completed due diligence on Coca-Cola Amatil and entered into a binding scheme implementation deed with the Australian-listed company. The proposed $9bn takeover requires the support of at least 75 per cent of CCA shareholders and approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board. Shareholders are likely to vote on the scheme of arrangement in March. Some of CCA’s institutional shareholders consider the cash offer of $12.75 per share to be opportunistic.

CORPORATES
COCA-COLA AMATIL LIMITED – ASX CCL, COCA-COLA EUROPEAN PARTNERS PLC, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD

Amatil chiefs back $9.3bn takeover bid

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 27-Oct-20

Shares in Coca-Cola Amatil closed 16.28 per cent higher at $12.50 on 26 October, after its independent directors endorsed a takeover proposal from Coca-Cola European Partners. The cash offer of $12.75 per share also has the support of CC Amatil’s chair Ilana Atlas and CEO Alison Watkins, as well as 30.4 per cent shareholder The Coca-Cola Company. Atlas says the board decided to recommend the $9.3bn bid after assessing the company’s earnings outlook.

CORPORATES
COCA-COLA AMATIL LIMITED – ASX CCL, COCA-COLA EUROPEAN PARTNERS, THE COCA-COLA COMPANY

CC Amatil and Coke Europe in merger talks

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 & 20 : 26-Oct-20

Shares in Coca-Cola Amatil were placed in a trading halt on 23 October, pending an announcement on a "potential material transaction". Bloomberg has reported that the beverages group is in advanced talks with Coca-Cola European Partners regarding a takeover proposal that could be worth around $10bn. The Coca-Cola Company has a 30.4 per cent stake in CCA and a 19.3 per cent stake in CCEP, positioning it to play a key role in any deal that emerges. A takeover of Australia’s largest non-alcoholic beverage would most likely need to be approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board.

CORPORATES
COCA-COLA AMATIL LIMITED – ASX CCL, COCA-COLA EUROPEAN PARTNERS, THE COCA-COLA COMPANY, BLOOMBERG LP, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD

FIRB investment fees set to jump on property and business

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 : 18-Sep-20

The federal government has previously reduced to zero the ‘dollar value threshhold’ for foreign bids to be assessed by the Foreign Investment Review Board. It has now adjusted the fees that are applied to foreign investment applications, so as to reflect the costs of reviewing them under the new threshold process. The change will see some fees increased and some reduced; in the case of residential property, all fees will rise, except for properties valued at $38 million or more.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD

China turning off the cash tap

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 9-Jun-20

A report produced by KPMG and the University of Sydney shows that Chinese investment in Australia fell to a 12-year in 2019. Chinese investment fell by 60 per cent to $3.4bn in total, including the acquisition of Bellamy’s Australia for $1.5bn. The report also shows that China-based investors made just 42 deals in Australia during 2019, compared with 74 in 2018. The report covers completed deals worth more than $US5m. Doug Ferguson of KPMG says Chinese investment in Australia is likely to continue to fall in 2020.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD