DataRoom AM: Glencore eyes ASX

Talk of a secondary listing for Glencore on the ASX suggests a push to merge with Rio Tinto is still on the cards, while it’s crunch time for PanAust’s board as they weigh an offer from a state-owned Chinese conglomerate.

Glencore has drawn plenty of headlines this week, with the latest coming in the form of reports it is weighing an ASX listing. The development makes plenty of sense if the Swiss firm plans to follow through on a Rio Tinto merger next year.

Elsewhere, judgement day nears for PanAust, new IPO candidates continue to emerge and Wotif shareholders give their strong support to Expedia’s takeover offer.

Glencore is weighing a secondary stock listing in Australia, recently testing the interest of large investors over the proposal, according to Bloomberg. A final decision has yet to be reached, but it would make sense in light of its push for a $180 billion, scrip-focused tie-up with Rio Tinto. If Glencore were listed on the ASX -- it already has listings in London, Hong Kong and Johannesburg -- then local Rio shareholders could receive access to local stock, making any potential scrip-related deal more enticing.

Without another strong push to grab control of Rio, it’s hard to see much value in listing on a fourth exchange.

Also in resources, it’s moving closer to D-Day on Guangdong Rising Assets Management’s $1.5bn bid for control of PanAust. The ASX-listed target has a board meeting set for next week, according to The Australian Financial Review, with expectations that clarity on the takeover process will be forthcoming soon. It’s not looking promising given the time lag since the initial May offer, but it is believed GRAM’s indicative offer still stands.

In the IPO market, APN Outdoor has begun engaging cornerstone investors for its $450 million float and could bring its bookbuild forward to the start of next week. The AFR reports that the deal could raise between $329m and $349m for owner Quadrant Private Equity.

Meanwhile, New Zealand cloud-based software provider Orion Health continues to work toward a dual-listing on the NZX and ASX, although a valuation is a challenge for lead advisors Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank given its unique market. According to the AFR, analysts at the two firms have come up with a range of $NZ500m ($448m) to $NZ900m, but where it ends up is anyone’s guess. The IPO is currently slated for November.

Elsewhere, Appen Holdings could be the next tech firm to try its luck on the ASX as it strongly considers a float, while law firm IPH Ltd saw strong interest in its Thursday bookbuild, leaving it on track for a $165m listing on November 19.

Finally, Wotif shareholders have almost unanimously backed Expedia’s $703m takeover offer, with 99.93 per cent of the vote in the affirmative, while a $25m equity raising has successfully been completed by Hotel Property Investments at a 3.8 per cent discount to its last traded price, the AFR reported.

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