David Morgan reveals failed Westpac-CBA mega-merger

Original article by Tony Boyd
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 20-Feb-19

The official biography of former Westpac CEO David Morgan outlines the bank’s proposed merger with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in 1989, when he was the head of institutional banking at Westpac. The merger ultimately failed to proceed due to disagreement over leadership of the new entity. Westpac CEO Bob Joss was to have been overlooked in favour of CBA CEO David Murray, with Joss to be given the role of vice-chairman in charge of restructuring. CBA directors were also against Morgan and Westpac CFO Pat Handley joining the board of the combined group.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, BT FINANCIAL GROUP PTY LTD, DBS BANK LIMITED, ST GEORGE BANK LIMITED, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Looming federal election puts a dampener on dealmaking

Original article by Scott Murdoch
The Australian – Page: 13 & 18 : 17-Jan-19

Data from Acuris shows that mergers and acquisitions activity in Australia totalled $US88.5bn ($123bn) in 2018, compared with $US85.6bn previously. Joe Fayyad from Bank of America Merrill Lynch notes that the upcoming federal election will affect inbound M&A activity in 2019, which will boost local companies’ ability to transact deals. Meanwhile, Aidan Allen of UBS expects M&A activity in 2019 to be dominated by private equity firms and Australian companies making offshore acquisitions.

CORPORATES
ACURIS, BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION, MERRILL LYNCH AND COMPANY INCORPORATED, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, MACQUARIE CAPITAL PTY LTD, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AMCOR LIMITED – ASX AMC, BEMIS MANUFACTURING COMPANY, REECE AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX REH, MORSCO, WORLEYPARSONS LIMITED – ASX WOR, JACOBS ENGINEERING GROUP INCORPORATED, GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED

Gascoyne taps bank to fend off takeovers

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 15 : 14-Jan-19

Potential takeover target Gascoyne Resources has appointed Macquarie as its adviser to help it defend any unwanted bids. Gascoyne’s main asset is the 1.3 million ounce Dalgaranga gold project in Western Australia, but Gascoyne has encountered issues with its processing plant and lower-than-expected grades from some pits, while the company has been the subject of management instability in recent times, with the resignation of both MD Mike Dunbar and chairman Ian Murray. Gascoyne advised on 24 December that it expected Dalgaranga to produce between 92,000 and 102,000 ounces of gold in calendar 2019.

CORPORATES
GASCOYNE RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX GCY, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, SILVER LAKE RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX SLR, DORAY MINERALS LIMITED – ASX DRM, RAMELIUS RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX RMS, EXPLAURUM LIMITED – ASX EXU, APHRODITE GOLD LIMITED, EXCELSIOR GOLD LIMITED, NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX NST, TRIBUNE RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX TBR, RAND MINING LIMITED – ASX RND

China’s $2b swoop on health giant

Original article by Carrie LaFrenz
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 4-Jan-19

Shares in pathology, imaging and medical centres operator Healius closed 7.8 per cent higher at $2.63 on 3 January, in response to a takeover bid from Jangho Group. The Chinese company already has a 15.93 per cent stake in Healius and is offering $3.25 per share. Healius, which changed its name from Primary Health Care in late 2018, has advised shareholders to take no action regarding the unsolicited offer at present. It has stressed that Jangho’s approach may not necessarily result in a deal.

CORPORATES
HEALIUS LIMITED – ASX HLS, JANGHO GROUP, VISION EYE INSTITUTE LIMITED, MONASH IVF GROUP LIMITED – ASX MVF, HEALTHSCOPE LIMITED – ASX HSO, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, CHEUNG KONG INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDINGS LIMITED, APA GROUP – ASX APA, HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES COMPANY LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LIMITED – ASX API, SIGMA HEALTHCARE LIMITED – ASX SIG, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, KING AND WOOD MALLESONS, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Cashed-up PE firms warned on overpaying

Original article by Bo Seo, Jemima Whyte
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 15 : 3-Jan-19

Data from the Australian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association shows that the private equity sector completed $6.9bn worth of deals in 2018. Private equity firms have an additional $9.7bn available for acquisitions in 2019. However, Quadrant Private Equity’s executive chairman Chris Hadley says they must avoid paying too much, particularly for lower-quality assets. Meanwhile, experts say the private equity sector’s business model is changing, with more funds opting to partner with super funds and other institutional investors.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRIVATE EQUITY AND VENTURE CAPITAL ASSOCIATION LIMITED, QUADRANT PRIVATE EQUITY PTY LTD, TPG CAPITAL LP, PACIFIC EQUITY PARTNERS PTY LTD, GREENCROSS LIMITED – ASX GXL, PETCO ANIMAL SUPPLIES INCORPORATED, TRANSURBAN GROUP LIMITED – ASX TCL, WESTCONNEX, KKR AND COMPANY LP, MYOB GROUP LIMITED – ASX MYO, BGH CAPITAL PTY LTD, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, HEALTHSCOPE LIMITED – ASX HSO, NAVITAS LIMITED – ASX NVT, THE CARLYLE GROUP, CAMPBELL INTERNATIONAL, GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Doubts rise over valuation of GrainCorp bid

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 20-Dec-18

GrainCorp has advised shareholders that the board is not yet in a position to make a recommendation on whether to accept the $3.3bn takeover bid from Long-Term Asset Partners. The suitor has been given permission to undertake due diligence, but GrainCorp chairman Graham Bradley says the agribusiness will seek more information from LTAP regarding its long-term intentions and its financing arrangements. LTAP contends that its offer is superior to a 2013 bid by Archer Daniels Midland, which was backed by GrainCorp’s board but subsequently blocked by the federal government.

CORPORATES
GRAINCORP LIMITED – ASX GNC, LONG-TERM ASSET PARTNERS PTY LTD, ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND COMPANY, GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WESTBOURNE CAPITAL PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, ALLIANZ AG HOLDING

TPG plunges on doubt over merger plans

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 14-Dec-18

Australian Competition & Consumer Competition chairman Rod Sims says its preliminary view on the proposed merger between Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG Telecom is that it will lead to less competition. The ACCC will delay its decision on the $15 billion merger for three months, while Sims’ comments caused TPG’s share price to fall by 16.7 per cent on 13 December. Vodafone CEO Inaki Berroeta says the merger with TPG is still on track, and that it will be good for consumers.

CORPORATES
VODAFONE HUTCHISON AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, TPG TELECOM LIMITED – ASX TPM, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD

BHP left holding Chilean mine after deal collapses

Original article by James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 14-Dec-18

Private equity firm EMR Capital will not proceed with a deal to buy BHP Group’s Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile. EMR has advised that the $US320m ($443m) transaction has been abandoned due to problems in meeting its deadline to secure financing. The deal had been announced in June; EMR recently acquired a majority stake in a copper mine in Zambia.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, EMR CAPITAL PTY LTD, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, PT ADARO ENERGY TBK

Merged miners see more gold deals on horizon

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 24 : 12-Dec-18

Gold miner Horizon Minerals will have a market capitalisation of around $64m and will be headed by Intermin Resources MD Jon Price. Horizon has been formed via a merger between Intermin and MacPhersons Resources, and Price says the new company already has its sights on potential gold acquisitions in Western Australia. Other recent deals in Australia’s gold sector include the merger between Silver Lake Resources and Doray Minerals.

CORPORATES
HORIZON MINERALS LIMITED, INTERMIN RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX IRC, MACPHERSONS RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX MRP, SILVER LAKE RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX SLR, DORAY MINERALS LIMITED – ASX DRM, BARDOC GOLD LIMITED – ASX BDC, EXCELSIOR GOLD LIMITED

Nine holds its ground over Singo buyout

Original article by Nick Tabakoff
The Australian – Page: 25 & 27 : 10-Dec-18

Nine CEO Hugh Marks says he has held talks with advertising industry veteran John Singleton about buying his 32 per cent stake in Macquarie Media. However, Marks has dismissed speculation that Nine will pay at least $2 per share to take full ownership of Macquarie in the wake of the merger with Fairfax Media. Marks also says Nine is committed to retaining the print editions of Fairfax’s key mastheads. He adds that the websites of Fairfax newspapers are likely to feature more of Nine’s video content, but Fairfax content will in turn largely continue to be exclusive.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED – ASX FXJ, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, 2GB, 3AW SOUTHERN CROSS RADIO PTY LTD, RADIO 4BC BRISBANE PTY LTD, DOMAIN HILL PROPERTY GROUP PTY LTD, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED