Australand appears all but certain to fall into the hands of Frasers Centrepoint after the target’s board officially offered its support for the deal last night.
Elsewhere, Medibank Private makes strides towards its big day on the ASX, newly formed Scentre mulls a major sale of NZ assets, Jan Cameron is on the receiving end of a retail hit and Origin Energy takes a big jump towards control of Karoon Gas’ stake in Poseidon.
Frasers Centrepoint has entered into a bid implementation agreement with target Australand after completing due diligence on the property group in the wake of its $2.6 billion bid last month. Frasers trumped Stockland with its offer and it appears unlikely another bid will be forthcoming, though Stockland -- which holds 20 per cent of the target -- has yet to outline its position.
The deal still needs to receive majority support from Australand shareholders as well as approval from the Foreign Investment Board, but both appear likely outcomes.
In the IPO market, advisors on the $4bn-plus Medibank Private float start a three-week marketing roadshow next week. Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Macquarie Capital will look to convince investors around the world of the merits of buying into one of the largest IPOs seen in Australia.
Meanwhile, the newly formed Scentre Group -- the Australian and New Zealand property trust created out of the $70bn Westfield restructure -- could sell half of its New Zealand shopping centre portfolio, according to The Australian Financial Review. Singapore’s GIC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board are believed to be frontrunners in a deal that could see Scentre’s NZ malls valued at $2.8bn, almost $300m more than book value.
The Jan Cameron-backed DSG Holdings has been forced to call in receivers for the second time in as many years. Kathmandu’s Cameron bought DSG -- the owner of Crazy Clark’s and Sam’s Warehouse -- out of administration less than 18 months ago in a deal worth $59 million. Administrators KordaMentha are pursuing another sale of the assets but investors have every reason to be a little gun-shy.
In energy, Envestra has taken suitor Cheung Kong Infrastructure to the Takeovers Panel in yet another twist to the long-running takeover saga. The move relates to a dispute on the timing of a dividend payment to the target’s shareholders and is not considered likely to jeopardise the $2.4bn takeover deal.
The JV partners in the Poseidon gas field -- PetroChina and ConocoPhillips -- have chosen not to exercise their pre-emptive rights to Karoon Gas’ stake, eliminating fears PetroChina would look to undo Origin Energy’s $860m purchase of Karoon’s share. The decision from PetroChina and ConocoPhillips, which together control 60 per cent of Poseidon, leaves the Origin deal to be wrapped up in one to two months’ time.
Elsewhere, Transpacific Industries is the latest Australian firm to take advantage of low global interest rates, securing a new $400m syndicated debt facility with a group of eight banks. The firm has substantially slashed its debt load after the near-$1bn sale of its NZ operations.
Finally, Goldman Sachs has again topped the local M&A leaderboard in the second quarter among investment banks, while ASX-listed Carsales.com has paid $60.1m to secure a 50.1 per cent stake in vehicle finance business Stratton Finance.