BREAKFAST DEALS: Murdoch tilt?

Rupert Murdoch looks to start 2012 with an acquisition, while shareholders needle Spotless to engage with PEP.

Within the eight decades that Australia’s most famous billionaire Rupert Murdoch has been around, 2011 was one of his worst years. But the octogenarian might be about to start off 2012 with one of the things he likes most – acquisitions. News Corp is reportedly looking to bid for some media assets from Turkey’s Calik Holdings for up to $US1 billion. It could amount to a little comfort for Murdoch who watched his bid for the rest of the UK’s BSkyB fall apart amid a headline-grabbing phone hacking scandal that also claimed one of his newspapers, the News of the World. Meanwhile, Spotless chairman Peter Smedley is likely to face an ultimatum from shareholders as soon as today over his refusal to engage fully with suitor Pacific Equity Partners. Elsewhere, QBE’s Frank O’Halloran is said to be making a play for HSBC’s non-life insurance assets, APA Group is mighty annoyed at target Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund for failing to get an independent expert’s report and the African Iron board has flung its arms open to suitor Exxaro.

News Corp, Calik Holdings

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