DataRoom AM: Murray Goulburn sweet tooth

Murray Goulburn is reportedly mulling a bid for Peters Ice Cream, while Bega Cheese directors have bagged a healthy profit from selling shares.

Murray Goulburn has another deal in mind post-Warrnambool Cheese, while Bega directors are biting into some tasty share sale profits.

Meanwhile, Pacific Equity Partners is feeling out investment banks for a Spotless float, Anchorage Capital Partners has lobbed an offer for Crowe Horwath Australasia and there are big movements afoot in New South Wales infrastructure.

Australian dairy powerhouse Murray Goulburn is believed to be contemplating a $400 million run at Peters Ice Cream, The Australian reports.

According to the newspaper, Murray Goulburn recently hosted a presentation from management, as the ice cream brand’s private equity owners Pacific Equity Partners shop it around.

Murray Goulburn doesn’t appear to be pausing for breath after the race for Warrnambool Cheese & Butter, which resulted in a rival bidder, Canada’s Saputo, securing a majority stake.

Peters has also been attached to France’s PAI Partners, which could also have a sweet tooth.

Speaking of dairy, Bega Cheese directors Max Roberts and Robert Platts collected a little over $1m each for parcel sales on the back of strong rises in the company’s share price.

Back to Pacific Equity Partners, The Australian Financial Review believes the private equity firm has seen presentations from Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Macquarie Capital for a chance to help launch Spotless Group back onto the ASX.

While nothing is confirmed, the news does read as a serious signal that PEP is looking at a Spotless IPO for some time in 2014.

Staying with private equity, Anchorage Capital Partners, which specialises in troubled companies, has made an offer to Crowe Horwath Australasia for a minority or controlling stake. Crowe Horwath declined to give any more details to DataRoom.

In NSW, Treasurer Mike Baird has pushed back the $1 billion Port of Newcastle sale to give prospective bidders more time to prepare, while the state’s roads minister, Duncan Gay, is talking to Spanish tollroad giant Abertis about potential opportunities, according to the AFR.

Elsewhere, AMP has emerged with a 5.94 per cent stake in Australand Property Group just as Stockland rocked the market with a 19.9 per cent stake.

Myer boss Bernie Brookes has assured investors a merger with David Jones is not an absolute must as the retail executive tried to put a positive spin on yesterday’s 8 per cent slide in first-half net profit.

“If it (a merger) doesn't go ahead, if nothing happens in the next six months, ideally we have two new stores opening, an extension to Myer Melbourne, we've got three refurbishments finished and an exceptional opportunity to really drive the department store business and we have got a robust and growing online business,” Brookes said.

In agriculture, The Australian reports Switzerland’s Adveq Real Assets is checking Australia out for its $US300m ($332m) specialist agricultural vehicle.

And finally, the AFR understands its publisher, Fairfax Media, had a look at online property business Allhomes, but it’s not clear whether a binding offer came about.

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