Investment bankers brace for deal blitz

Original article by Tim Boyd
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 11-Jan-21

Australian investment bankers are upbeat about the outlook for mergers and acquisitions activity in 2021. John Pickhaver of Macquarie Capital says local companies are likely to attract interest from foreign suitors, given Australia’s comparative success in combating COVID-19. James Disney of Credit Suisse expects private equity firms to actively pursue acquisitions in 2021. There was a spike in M&A activity in the fourth quarter of 2020, although data from Dealogic shows that the value of announced deals for the full year reached a 10-year low of $US63.2bn ($81.4bn).

CORPORATES
MACQUARIE CAPITAL PTY LTD, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, DEALOGIC (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD

Court clears Village deal as dissenter stays away

Original article by Max Maddison
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 27 : 16-Dec-20

The Federal Court has approved BGH Capital’s deal to acquire cinemas and theme parks group Village Roadshow. The company’s shareholders recently endorsed BGH’s scheme A offer of $3 per share. New York-based fund manager Mittleman Brothers opted against making an application to appear before the court, having been a vocal opponent of the takeover bid. BGH will have a 78 per cent stake in Village Roadshow, while the Kirby family and former CEO Graham Burke will hold a stake of about 22 per cent

CORPORATES
VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, BGH CAPITAL PTY LTD, MITTLEMAN BROTHERS LLC, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

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

Bega cooks up Aussie food champ

Original article by Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 28 : 27-Nov-20

Bega Cheese’s executive chairman Barry Irvin expects to achieve synergies of about $41m soon after the deal to acquire Lion Dairy & Drinks from Kirin Holdings is completed in early 2021. Bega will raise $401m from investors to partially finance the $534m deal, with new shares to be offered at $4.60 apiece. The acquisition will add milk and yoghurt brands such as Pura, Dairy Farmers and Yoplait to Bega’s portfolio, which includes non-dairy products such as Vegemite and peanut butter. The federal government blocked the sale of Lion to China Mengniu Dairy in August, deeming that the $600m deal was not in the national interest.

CORPORATES
BEGA CHEESE LIMITED – ASX BGA, LION-DAIRY AND DRINKS PTY LTD, KIRIN HOLDINGS COMPANY LIMITED, CHINA MENGNIU DAIRY COMPANY LIMITED

BGH lifts takeover offer for Village

Original article by Ben Wilmot
The Australian – Page: 21 : 20-Nov-20

BGH Capital is set to increase its takeover offer for Village Roadshow from $2.22 per share to $3, valuing its revised bid at $586m. Spheria Asset Management’s portfolio manager Matthew Booker has previously indicated that an offer of around $3 per share should satisfy shareholders; Spheria has a 7.8 per cent stake in Village. However, 14.34 per cent shareholder Mittleman Brothers is of the view that the revised offer still undervalues the cinemas and theme parks group.

CORPORATES
VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, BGH CAPITAL PTY LTD, SPHERIA ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

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

US fund Ares in AMP buyout talks

Original article by Bridget Carter, Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 30-Oct-20

New York Stock Exchange-listed private equity firm Ares Management has been given access to AMP’s data room and is said to be considering a full takeover play. Ares boasts more than $US149bn ($211.3bn) in assets under management, and CEO Michael Arougheti has flagged the potential for acquisitions in the Asia-Pacific region. AMP recently announced a portfolio review, which could result in the sale of all or part of the business. AMP’s market capitalisation is about $4.4bn, based on the stock’s closing price of $1.28 on 29 October.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, ARES MANAGEMENT CORPORATION

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

Seven floated merger with ViacomCBS’ Ten

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Age – Page: Online : 26-Oct-20

Sources have indicated that Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes held informal talks earlier in 2020 about a potential merger with the rival Ten Network. The discussions between Stokes and ViacomCBS president and CEO Bob Bakish are said to have ended after they agreed that such a deal would not be possible under Australia’s existing media ownership rules. Any such deal would also have faced scrutiny by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. The talks have heightened speculation that Stokes may be keen to exit the media sector.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, VIACOMCBS INCORPORATED