DataRoom AM: Macquarie cash splash

Macquarie Group pays top dollar for ANZ Terminals, while Roc Oil’s mystery bidder could soon emerge from the shadows.

Macquarie Group’s acquisitive streak is returning, with the investment bank sealing the purchase of ANZ Terminals over the weekend at a price that topped expectations.

Elsewhere, Roc Oil’s mystery suitor may soon come out of the woodwork, M&A activity threatens to explode and the IPO market remains on track for a near-record year even if float fatigue is starting to take root.

The long-running sale of ANZ Terminals has concluded in a positive fashion for owner Morningside Private Investors after Macquarie Group put forward a strong bid for the operator of liquids and gas storage terminals around the country. According to The Australian Financial Review, Macquarie will pay $525 million for ANZ Terminals, above the $500m mark Morningside had reportedly been chasing.

It is believed REST Super was the closest underbidder, also lobbing an offer north of $500m the way of Morningside, while US-based Oiltanking was among others to fall short.

Also in energy, the merger of Roc Oil and Horizon Oil remains up in the air as the AFR reports Roc’s mystery suitor is due to visit the company next week. Roc last week revealed it had received a non-binding offer from an unnamed bidder, believed to be a Chinese-based outfit, and the suitor’s visit is a sign Roc may be willing to engage.

Meanwhile, the jury is still out on the strength of the IPO market ahead of a possible flood of listings before the end of the year. Asaleo Care was the latest to experience a flat debut on Friday, with the fair reception coming as the biggest float of the year ramps up.

Healthscope, which could raise $2.5 billion in an IPO valuing the firm at $5bn, has already received commitments worth $1.8bn, according to the AFR. The private hospital operator is tipped to lodge its prospectus today, while another major healthcare float -- the government’s divestment of Medibank Private -- is due to be given the all-clear from Treasury on Tuesday.

Medibank is likely to hit ASX boards in the last quarter of the year, while Healthscope should join the ASX in late July. The two healthcare groups are key to what should be one of the biggest years for the IPO market in history.

Elsewhere, M&A activity is starting to spring to life as new deals top $70bn in the first half of the year. The number is the best since 2011 and about double the level of last year. With the IPO market also enjoying a strong year, investment bankers may see healthier bonuses in 2014.

In finance, the five largest banks in China could be open to new foreign investment, according to the AFR. The news presents an opportunity to Australia’s cashed up banks, but given the lack of control linked to any stake and persistent fears about doubtful loans, the big four are likely to take a wide berth.

Finally, media mogul Kerry Stokes has crept up the register of Capilano Honey, securing a 12.5 per cent stake, while Norway’s Det Norske Veritas is mulling a rival bid to Pacific Equity Partners in the $1.1bn-plus race for control of SAI Global, the AFR reports.

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