DataRoom AM: Federation-Novion nod

The Federation-Novion merger gets the go-ahead from a key shareholder, while takeover ructions continue at Ten Network.

The proposed merger between Federation Centres and Novion already has a big fan, who has been something of a property deal kingmaker of late.

Meanwhile, if Foxtel and Discovery do manage to grab Ten, they aren’t keen on having an influential Bruce Gordon, while one analyst thinks BHP’s spin-off will have to buy to grow.

Novion shares finished yesterday’s session up 9.5 per cent, enticing one shareholder in particular to lend their support to the $22 billion merger deal with Federation Centres that sent the share price soaring.

Melbourne property mogul John Gandel is throwing his support behind the deal, with 26.2 per cent on the Novion register at stake. Gandel also approved of the $460 million internalisation deal between CFS Retail Property Group and Commonwealth Bank.

In Media, Pay-TV group Foxtel and US media giant Discovery Communications won’t take Ten Network if major shareholder Bruce Gordon maintains any control, The Australian Financial Review reports.

The newspaper understands Foxtel and Discovery would be happy for Gordon to maintain a shareholding of some sort, but anything that would leverage influence over the company doesn’t fly.

Foxtel and Discovery have offered Ten 23c a share for a takeover, but Gordon has so far resisted at that price.

Sticking with discoveries, Discovery Metals has failed to reach an agreement over its Boseto copper site with private equiteer Cupric Canyon Capital.

The company has been struggling to fund and develop the project, especially since its share price collapsed following a $1.70 per share takeover offer from Cathay Fortune. Its stocks are currently trading just above one cent.

BHP Billiton’s proposed spin-off South32 would have to pursue acquisitions post-BHP if it’s to secure growth, according to Deutsche Bank mining analyst Paul Young.

Young said the company would be vulnerable to earnings slides as production falls with declining grades and that it would rely on commodity prices, cost cuts and currency movements in the absence of takeovers.

Staying with resources, analysts are still expressing doubts that Kerry Stokes’ sudden appearance on the Beach Energy register is a forward to a full-blown takeover.

One popular argument is Stokes’s portfolio is too small to accommodate a Beach acquisition. That’s been said about Stokes before.

Elsewhere, Australia’s Macquarie Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts are reportedly among the suitors doing some early jostling for Morgan Stanley’s oil-merchanting unit. The report comes from Bloomberg, quoting sources that didn’t want to be identified.

Speaking of private equity, AFR reports TPG’s consortium for GE Capital’s consumer finance arm includes Blackstone Group, Singapore’s GIC, China Investment Corporation and Canada’s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. That’s international deals royalty.

In IPO news (or potential IPO news), The Australian Financial Review reports that APN News & Media plans to tell investors its New Zealand float is back on. APN has its full-year results next week.

In wrapping up, Navitas is having discussions with ‘a number’ of Australian universities after losing its contract with Macquarie University. Melbourne stalwart commercial agency Kliger Woods has merged with Teska Carson. And finally, Simon Mordant and Ron Malek are back. The investment bankers have confirmed their return after months of speculation with the new advisory firm Luminis Partners.    

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