AGL Energy Thursday said it had reached an agreement with New Zealand firm, Meridian Energy for the construction of a wind farm in Victoria State. The cooperation will see the New Zealand renewable energy firm, Meridian, and AGL set up a wind farm at an estimated $1 billion worth of investment. The wind farm will subsequently become the biggest such renewable energy project of its kind in the south west of Victoria.
In a bid to prevent further losses, Australia’s biggest telecoms operator, Telstra, Friday reported that it is mulling a possible sale of its Chinese business unit, SouFun, if its planned initial public offering fails. The Australian telecoms giant recently announced its results, posting slumping profits and record low share price.
To cushion itself from losses, Telstra said it had agreed with a consortium of companies on a back up deal that will see it sell SouFun for about $190 million profit. SouFun, an online property site, is Telstra’s main business in China. Telstra’s latest move comes amidst slumping share prices, peaking at $2.82 as at Friday, and the lowest of all time. Telstra’s shares have declined by about 13%.
TechnologyOne Thursday said it had successfully won the Epworth bid for the installation of the company’s software solutions enterprise suite. TechnologyOne’s enterprise suite for Epworth comprises financials, supply chain, business intelligence, work and assets, enterprise budgeting and customer relationship management. Epworth HealthCare is Victoria State’s biggest non-profit private hospital group and the deal will see TechnologyOne install the suite across all of the hospital’s operations.
Banpu PCL, Thailand’s biggest coal mining company, reported Wednesday that its shareholders had approved its offer for Australian miner, Centennial Coal Company. Banpu PCL now has the go ahead to undertake its Australian investment pegged at A$2.17 billion. The Thai company has always reiterated its intention for expansion offshore and the shareholder approval confirms its drive for regional growth.
In a move to expedite the conclusion of the National Australia Bank’s offer for Axa Asia Pacific, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it has commenced market consultations regarding the deal. The Australia National Bank had offered $13.3 billion for the acquisition of AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd’s Australian and New Zealand businesses.
Reports emerged Monday that two US based companies are mulling a possible $2.75 billion worth investment in the takeover of the Australian mining firm, Whitehaven Natural Resources. The two firms, First Reserve and Alpha Natural Resources, are said to be currently considering the buyout firm, coming after confirmations from the Australian miner that it had an open data room for prospective suitors for quite some time.
In a move aimed at bolstering its operations in Australia, American grain handler, Gavilon Group, said Friday that it plans to open a commodities trading office in the country. The new commodities trading office will add to its current Australian operation based in Brisbane. The establishment of the new office operations comes in the wake of the company’s failure over joint venture talks with domestic Australian grain handler, AWB, that instead decided to undertake an A$856 million merger with GrainCorp.
US based company, Pavilion Energy Resources Inc., Thursday said it is keen on expanding its operations in Australia, as part of its move to expand its presence globally. Pavilion said it will be going into partnerships with various governments globally as it expands its business in cheap renewable energy technology. In that regard, the firm said it will seek funding from the recently announced fund by the Australian government targeting renewable energy investments.
Reports emerged Thursday that NTPC, India’s largest electricity generator, is scouring Australia for potential acquisitions in the mining industry. Sources close to the company revealed that NTPC had already hired some banks to help it in the prospective Australian investments. The company is reportedly seeking coalmines in Australia, in a move to bolster its supplies for its fuel stations.
The Australian, Wednesday reported that Aussie investor, Harold Mitchell, will retain his position in Mitchell Communications Group in spite of the recent merger with Aegis Group, the international media buy out firm that acquired the Australian group recently. Harold Mitchell owns about 30% of Mitchell Communications, whereas additional family interests hold about 10% in the company.
Australian Mining firm, Linc Energy Tuesday announced that it had reached an agreement with Adani Enterprises for the sell of its Galilee coal tenement to the Indian company. The Australian miner said the deal agreed on would see the Indian firm, Adani Enterprises remit in cash and royalty the value of the investment that was placed at a $2.7 billion. This makes the Linc Energy-Adani Enterprises deal the biggest single mine investment in Australia to be undertaken by an Indian company.
Reports emerged Monday that the world’s largest trader in palm oil, Wilmar International Ltd sought about 1.1 billion US dollars in funding from banks in its quest to take over the Australian sugar business of CSR Ltd. According to the reports, the move was made by the company in a bid to raise the money for the acquisition it announced recently will have the bank’s loan it money to the tune of over 1 billion US dollars to enable it undertake the purchase.
America’s foremost provider of payment processing and information management services to commercial and Federal fleet industry, Wright Express Corporation, Friday announced it had agreed on a deal that will see it takeover the assets of Retail Decisions in Australia. The agreement is a definitive share purchase deal and the American firm will acquire Australian assets of Retail Decisions such as its fleet and prepaid card businesses from the private equity firm, Palamon Capital Partners together with the firm’s co-investors Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners and AlpInvest Partners for an estimated 318 million US dollars.
Australian copper mining company, OZ Minerals Thursday said it’s currently keen on undertaking investment purchases and will consider opportunities for acquisitions. The company said it will carry on with its acquisitions strategy and had already gone into non-obligatory offers for various projects.
Terry Burgess, OZ Minerals chief executive said the company’s strategy for development is targeted at working towards the acquisition of potential projects, reiterating that the company had, as it is, considered three to four prospective projects and had even done due diligence in some projects while in others, it had gone into non-binding agreements.
Mitchell Communication Group, the Australian Stock Exchange Listed media company said Thursday that its board of directors is in support of an A$363 million takeover offer from Aegis Media, the British media buying group. The announcement further revealed that the board had accepted Aegis Media’s offer of A$1.20 for every share inclusive of options and performance rights.
Canadian grain handler, Viterra Inc Tuesday announced it is keen on making more acquisitions in Australia even as it still seeks the purchase of Australia’s grain handler, ABB Grain Ltd. According to the Canadian firm, it will be considering more acquisitions and would mull over increasing its debt levels if that will enable it undertake its investments plan. As such, Viterra Inc. said it is willing to raise its overall debt to capital ratio by about 30% to 40%, way up from its 25% as of 31st January.
In a move aimed at ending conjecture over its rumored Asian venture, Westpac Banking Corp, the Australian banking major raised 3 billion US dollars from the American debt markets. In the move, the Australian bank remitted to investors a margin of 93 and 115 basis points consecutively by pricing 1 billion US dollars in three year bonds and 2 billion US dollars in five year bonds.
An Australian mining sector report, undertaken by UBS, has revealed an FDI increase in mining projects in the country with about $7 billion of Coal assets alone being held by foreign companies. According to the report, the number of mergers and acquisitions in the Australian mining sector has increased by a notable margin as foreign companies push for Coal investments in the country.
The report revealed further that most of the country’s coal assets are being increasingly taken over by Asian companies desperate to cater for the burgeoning energy demands in their countries and subsequently; the rush for Australian coal assets has upped bid valuations for Australian mining companies.
HRL Morrison & Co., the Wellington based infrastructure investment firm is keen on acquiring the Australian Port of Brisbane. HRL Morrison is funded by the New Zealand superannuation fund and is currently bidding with five other companies for the A$2 billion Queensland state government owned port.
The Queensland state government put the port up for sale and it has attracted a number of firms for the bid. According to Australian media reports HRL Morrison, the manager of Infratil, listed in the New Zealand stock and a well known infrastructure investor, is leading a group of companies bidding for the Brisbane port. However, Morrison & Co would not comment on the emerging media reports.
In a bid to capitalize on the growing global homecare market, Air Liquide Thursday announced it had acquired two companies, one in Australia and the other in South Korea. Air Liquide, the world’s third biggest and Europe’s biggest homecare company said the acquisitions are part of its expansion strategy seeking to grow and develop its provision of services via targeted acquisitions in a variety of markets.
Air Liquide said it had acquired a 70% stake in the Australian company, Snore Australia, one of the country’s foremost companies in the sleep diagnosis segment. According to the Australian firm, its diagnoses have been crucial in the diagnosis and assessment of the levels of disorders in conditions like sleep apnea.
In an announcement Wednesday, Nuance Communications, the speech recognition products company said it had bought the Australian IT firm, Information Technologies Australia (iTa). The Australian IT firm provides automated customer services and in the deal, iTa’s executives will retain their places at Nuance in what the company said is to help grow Nuance’s business further.
A2 New Zealand shareholders Tuesday approved a deal that seeks to buy the 50% stake remaining in Australian company A2 Dairy Products. The deal will see Australian Stock Listed Company Freedom Nutritional Products, its partner in the Australian venture, acquire 25% stake in A2 Corp upon completion of the deal, with the choice of upping its stake later to about 27%. According to A2 Corp, it hopes the deal will give it special rights for it to produce and sale its milk products in Australia and Japan.
Australia’s second biggest private hospital operator, Healthscope, Tuesday announced it board had approved the proposed investment takeover from the Carlyle Group, based in the US. According to the announcement, the board agreed to the A$2 billion takeover bid from the American private equity Group undertaken in conjunction with TPG Capital.
The Federal Government has reached agreement on improved resource tax arrangements that address the concerns of the resource industry.
According to Deputy Prime Minsiter and Treasurer Wayne Swan, the agreement provides certainty to the resources industry, to mining communities right around the country, and to the broader Australian economy.
"The breakthrough agreement keeps faith with our central goal from day one: to deliver a better return for the Australian people for the resources they own and which can only be dug up once. It is the result of intense consultation and negotiation with the resources industry," Swan said.