AGL under pressure to explain Vocus takeover

Original article by Lucas Baird, Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 22 : 12-Jun-19

Vocus Group has agreed to allow AGL Energy to commence due diligence after offering $4.85 per share for the telco. AGL investors have responded bearishly to the $3bn bid, with its share price falling 7.2 per cent to $19.40 on 11 June. Sentiment toward AGL was also affected by an earnings downgrade on 7 June, before the stock market closed for a long weekend. Justin Braitling of Watermark Funds Management and James Nevin of RBC Capital Markets have questioned whether Vocus is an appropriate target for AGL.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, VOCUS GROUP LIMITED – ASX VOC, WATERMARK FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, EQT INFRASTRUCTURE, M2 GROUP LIMITED

Slaters and Shine hold merger talks

Original article by Luke Housego
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 20 : 11-Jun-19

Senior board members of law firms Shine and Slater & Gordon were recently overheard discussing the possibility of a merger. The two firms are the second and third biggest firms in Australia’s plaintiff law sector, behind market leader Maurice Blackburn. Shine and Slater & Gordon are very close in terms of market capitalisation; Slater & Gordon has a market value of $129 million, compared to Shine’s market value of $113 million.

CORPORATES
SHINE LAWYERS, SHINE CORPORATE LIMITED – ASX SHJ, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP

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

Empire grows as Seven West Media takes control of Community Newspapers

Original article by Hamish Hastie
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 28-May-19

Seven West Media has struck a deal to buy out News Corp Australia’s 50.1 per cent stake in their Community News joint venture in Perth. Seven West Media’s Maryna Fewster says the portfolio of 12 community newspapers and 17 digital titles will complement the company’s existing media assets in Western Australia. Community News was incorporated in 1985, and its acquisition by Seven West Media will be completed by the start of July.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, COMMUNITY NEWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC

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

Huawei ban rules out tilt at mobile: TPG

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 10-May-19

In the wake of the ACCC’s decision to block a proposed merger with Vodafone, TPG Telecom has indicated that it has no plans to build a mobile network. TPG terminated work on its own network in early 2019, after the federal government banned Huawei from supplying equipment for Australia’s 5G network. TPG argues that the Chinese company is the only supplier of 5G equipment that is compatible with the 4G technology that TPG has already installed.

CORPORATES
TPG TELECOM LIMITED – ASX TPM, VODAFONE HUTCHISON AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, VODAFONE AUSTRALIA LIMITED, HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES COMPANY LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, NOKIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, ERICSSON AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS CONSUMER ACTION NETWORK LIMITED, IBISWORLD PTY LTD, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED

Kidman bid not a replacement for Lynas, says Wesfarmers chief

Original article by Patrick Hatch, Darren Gray
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 3-May-19

Shares in Kidman Resources rose 45 per cent to close at $1.87 on 2 May after conglomerate Wesfarmers made a $776 million takeover bid for the lithium miner. Kidman’s main asset is a 50 per cent stake in a Western Australian lithium project, and joint venture partner SQM supports Wesfarmers’ bid. Wesfarmers CEO Rob Scott says that despite the Kidman bid, its takeover bid for rare earths producer Lynas Corporation remains on the table.

CORPORATES
KIDMAN RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX KDR, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, SOCIEDAD QUIMICA Y MINERA SA, LYNAS CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX LYC, WESTERN AREAS LIMITED – ASX WSA

Lendlease and Vicinity both takeover targets, says JPM

Original article by Nick Lenaghan
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 23-Apr-19

JP Morgan’s Global REIT Radar report suggests that a sharp fall in the share prices of Lendlease and Vicinity Centres could make them potential takeover targets. Ben Brayshaw of JP Morgan says both stocks are currently trading well below the firm’s estimate of their net asset value. The report also notes that real estate investment trusts have delivered a total return of 18.5 per cent over the last year, while global equities have returned just 7.6 per cent.

CORPORATES
LEND LEASE GROUP LIMITED – ASX LLC, VICINITY CENTRES – ASX VCX, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CROWN ESTATE, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Japan Inc splashes out on Dulux

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 17 : 18-Apr-19

Directors of DuluxGroup have endorsed a cash offer of $9.80 per share from Japan-based Nippon Paint, which values the deal at $3.8bn. DuluxGroup CEO Patrick Houlihan says the deal will allow the Melbourne-based company to sell its products in more international markets, following the recent launch of its Selleys range in Indonesia. Nippon Paint has stressed that DuluxGroup will retain its branding and leadership team.

CORPORATES
DULUXGROUP LIMITED – ASX DLX, NIPPON PAINT, SELLEYS CHEMICAL COMPANY PTY LTD, PARCHEM CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS PTY LTD, CRAIG AND ROSE, JAPAN POST COMPANY LIMITED, TOLL HOLDINGS LIMITED, MITSUBISHI UFJ FINANCIAL GROUP INCORPORATED, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT, ORICA LIMITED – ASX ORI

‘They’re all gamblers’: high-stakes Crown still in play

Original article by Sarah-Jane Tasker
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 11-Apr-19

Shares in Crown Resorts fell 9.1 per cent to $12.77 on 10 April, after US-based Wynn Resorts withdrew from takeover talks. However, observers believe that Crown is open to other offers and that another bid from Wynn cannot be ruled out. Crown’s largest shareholder James Packer is said to be keen to exit the casinos business, with an industry observer suggesting that he would be a "willing seller" at around the price that had been proposed by Wynn.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESEARCH INSTITUTES, WYNN RESORTS LIMITED, WHITE FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD