Your data at risk in takeovers

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 21-Aug-19

Foreign Investment Review Board chairman David Irvine has stressed the need to closely scrutinise foreign bids for companies that own data centres or hold Australians’ personal data. Irvine has used an Australia China Business Council speech to argue that data must be afforded the same level of protection as critical infrastructure such as ports, water supply and the power sector. He added that the FIRB’s tougher stance on the issue of data security has not attracted much concern among foreign investors.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, AUSTRALIA CHINA BUSINESS COUNCIL, AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION, AUSTRALIAN SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE, AUSTRALIA. CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR, SIRTEX MEDICAL LIMITED, NATURE’S CARE, LIFE-SPACE GROUP, HEALIUS LIMITED – ASX HLS, JANGHO GROUP, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY, AUSTRALIAN STRATEGIC POLICY INSTITUTE LIMITED

Push for Darwin Port to be nationalised to end Chinese ownership of strategic northern asset

Original article by Andrew Greene
abc.net au – Page: Online : 5-Aug-19

Federal Labor MP Nick Champion has called for Chinese company Landbridge’s 99-year lease on Darwin Port, which it was awarded by the Northern Territory Government in 2015 under a $500 million deal, to be scrapped. Champion, who is the Deputy Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, says he does not think that placing the port back into Commonwealth control will anger the Chinese government. Neil James from the Australian Defence Association says the suggestion to nationalise Darwin Port is a sensible one.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, LANDBRIDGE GROUP COMPANY LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE ASSOCIATION

Divestments on cards in Asahi CUB buyout

Original article by Simon Evans, Tim Boyd
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 23-Jul-19

Asahi Beverages Australia’s executive chairman Peter Margin has downplayed suggestions that the acquisition of Carlton & United Breweries may force the Japanese group to sell some beer brands due to competition concerns. CUB is estimated to have a 48.8 per cent share of the Australian beer market, while the market share of Asahi’s brands is about 1.2 per cent. CUB may have increased its market share in June after it engaged in heavy price discounting and trade loading in the lead-up to the end of the financial year.

CORPORATES
ASAHI BREWERIES LIMITED, CARLTON AND UNITED BREWERIES, ASAHI BEVERAGES AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, LION PTY LTD, COOPERS BREWERY LIMITED, ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV SA/NV, SABMILLER PLC, FOSTER’S GROUP LIMITED, STONE AND WOOD BREWING COMPANY PTY LTD

Asahi puts $16bn on bar for CUB

Original article by Bridget Carter, Eli Greenblat
The Weekend Australian – Page: 25 & 28 : 20-Jul-19

Japan-based Asahi is set to acquire Carlton & United Breweries in a $16bn deal, subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board and the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. The deal includes beer brands such as Victoria Bitter and Carlton Draught, and is expected to be finalised in the March 2020 quarter. Asahi secured the deal after Anheuser-Busch InBev abandoned plans for an IPO of its Asian brands, including CUB. The IPO documents show that CUB had a 48.8 per cent share of the Australian market in 2018, while rival brewer Lion – which is owned by Japan’s Kirin – had a 36.4 per cent market share.

CORPORATES
CARLTON AND UNITED BREWERIES, ASAHI BREWERIES LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV SA/NV, LION PTY LTD, KIRIN HOLDINGS COMPANY LIMITED

Minister cans visit after waste rebuff

Original article by Amanda Hodge
The Australian – Page: 8 : 20-Jun-19

The future of Lynas Corporation’s rare earths processing plant in Malaysia remains uncertain after the nation’s Environment Minister Yeo Bee cancelled a trip to Australia. Yeo was scheduled to meet federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley on 19 June and Western Australian Mines Minister Bill Johnston on 20 June. Yeo advised that her visit would not proceed after Johnston indicated that the talks would be a waste of time as WA will not allow Lynas’s low-level radioactive waste to be imported from Malaysia. Ley is also of the view that disposal of the waste material is Malaysia’s responsibility.

CORPORATES
LYNAS CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX LYC, MALAYSIA. DEPT OF ENVIRONMENT, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF MINES, INDUSTRY REGULATION AND SAFETY

Vocus has no regrets as turnaround proves too risky for EQT

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 20 : 6-Jun-19

Vocus Group CEO Kevin Russell says he is not aware of any other potential takeover approaches for the telco, after EQT Infrastructure chose not to make a binding offer for the company. EQT undertook due diligence on Vocus after approaching it with a non-binding offer of $5.25 per share. The Sweden-based private equity firm’s decision to walk away from a deal prompted a sell-down of Vocus shares on 5 June, with the stock closing almost 18 per cent lower at $3.77. Russell says Vocus is making progress in its turnaround strategy.

CORPORATES
VOCUS GROUP LIMITED – ASX VOC, EQT INFRASTRUCTURE, M2 GROUP LIMITED, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD, GREENCAPE CAPITAL PTY LTD

BHP faces call for write-down as Rio advances potash dream

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 3-Jun-19

BHP is slated to decide within 18 months if it will commit an additional $US5.5bn to the first stage of its Jansen potash project in Canada. CEO Andrew Mackenzie recently told investors that BHP has overinvested in the project to date, and James Gurry of Deutsche Bank says it may be a good time for BHP to review the carrying value of Jansen. He adds that there is potential for an initial impairment of around $US1.2bn ($1.7bn). Meanwhile, Rio Tinto’s Albany potash joint venture in Canada could commence production within two years.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, JSC AKRON

Packer’s sale of $1.76b stake in Crown Resorts puts spotlight on Barangaroo pledge

Original article by Nick Bonyhady, Nick Toscano
The Brisbane Times – Page: Online : 31-May-19

James Packer has sold half of his stake in Crown Resorts to Hong Kong-based Melco Resorts & Entertainment, a company with which Crown once operated a casino in Macau under a joint venture. The $1.76 billion deal was transacted via Packer’s private company Consolidated Press Holdings, and leaves Packer with around 25 per cent of Crown. However, there are suggestions that the share sale may breach the conditions of Crown’s operating licence in New South Wales; a condition of the agreement requires Crown to have no associations with Stanley Ho, the father of Melco owner Lawrence Ho.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, MELCO RESORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Banks bluffing on NZ lending threats: former PM

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 20 : 24-May-19

Former New Zealand prime minister Bill English has concerns about the Reserve Bank of NZ’s plans to require the local subsidiaries of Australia’s big four banks to increase their capital levels. S&P Global Ratings has estimated that the banks would need to raise an additional $8.1 billion, given that Australia’s four major banks have an 86 per cent share of the NZ lending market. English is worried that the move will make the banks more complacent about risk management, although he doubts that they will go ahead with threats to reduce lending in New Zealand.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, STOCKBROKERS AND FINANCIAL ADVISERS ASSOCIATION LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

St Barbara confident of Atlantic gold

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 20 : 16-May-19

Gold producer St Barbara will finance its proposed $768m acquisition of Canada-based Atlantic Gold via a non-renounceable rights offer and cash holdings. Paul Hissey of RBC describes Canada as a "relatively safe move" for St Barbara. Atlantic has forecast that its gold production in 2019 will be within the range of 92,000-98,000 ounces. Newcrest Mining and Northern Star Resources are among the other Australian miners to have bought North American assets in the last year.

CORPORATES
ST BARBARA LIMITED – ASX SBM, ATLANTIC GOLD CORPORATION, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, NEWCREST MINING LIMITED – ASX NCM, NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX NST, ALLIED GOLD