$171m loss tip

Paper merchant PaperlinX expects to lose $171 million this year even after selling its Italian and US arms to stave off death by internet. The company said that it had reached an agreement for the $US76 million ($75.6 million) sale of its US operations, Spicers USA and Kelly Paper, to Central National-Gottesman Inc. It also announced EU competition authorities had cleared the way for the ?45 million ($55.9 million) sale of its Italian business to Lecta. The bulk of the proceeds half from the US sale and more than 70 per cent of the Italian deal will be used to pay off debts, transaction costs and fund redundancies.


Meller to FSC

An AMP managing director has been appointed the Financial Services Council's deputy chairman. The board of the superannuation group last week unanimously elected AMP Financial Services' Craig Meller for the position. "In his over five years on the board, Craig has brought his extensive financial services industry experience to bear in the formation of industry policy and leadership," the chairman and head of Macquarie Bank's Banking and Financial Services Group, Peter Maher, said.


Xstrata hurdle

Glencore International Plc and Xstrata Plc will probably change the terms of a planned merger before shareholders vote on it July 12 after criticism of the takeover ratio and payments to managers, HSBC Holdings Plc said. Xstrata holders will vote on Glencore's offer of 2.8 of its own shares for each one of the Swiss thermal-coal exporter and on a retention bonus of as much as #172.8 million ($270 million) to keep 73 Xstrata executives at the merged company. A decision going against either proposal would block the deal. The payments created "specific problems", according to Andrew Keen, a London-based analyst at HSBC, and this should be separated from the merger vote.


InBev new bid

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV's push to acquire full ownership of Grupo Modelo SAB is moving the beer industry into the final stages of a decade-long consolidation. AB InBev, the world's largest brewer, said yesterday it was in talks with Modelo, the Mexican company of which it owns 50 per cent. AB InBev could pay $20 billion for the outstanding stake, according to a person familiar with the matter, who declined to be identified because the discussions are private.

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