Riversdale Mining has caused intense pain for Rio Tinto since a 2011 takeover, forcing the departures of two senior executives and a write-down worth $3 billion. Now, Rio may finally be able to put the disappointing chapter behind it for good as it prepares to sell off Riversdale’s key assets.
Elsewhere, the nation’s biggest float since 2010 is the subject of plenty of buyer attention, ANZ Bank takes a steady approach on rationalising its Asian portfolio and AGL Energy receives the all-clear to conclude its controversial Macquarie Generation purchase.
Rio Tinto is reportedly in talks to rid itself of several Mozambique coal assets tied to the firm’s disastrous takeover of Riversdale Mining in 2011. The discussions with India’s International Coal Ventures are tipped to lead to a sale of three coal mines in Mozambique -- Riversdale’s key assets -- for $US108 million ($115m). It will mark the end of another troubled chapter in Rio’s acquisitive history after it paid $US4 billion for the miner in 2011, before writing down the acquisition to the tune of $US3bn last year as former boss Tom Albanese stepped aside due to the blunder.
The deal was Rio’s first since its troubled $40bn acquisition of Alcan in 2007 and it’s consequently no surprise that current Rio boss Sam Walsh this week said he ‘doubted’ his firm would make a major acquisition anytime soon.
Meanwhile, the nation’s biggest float since 2010 has unsurprisingly drawn plenty of buyer interest, with Healthscope’s bookbuild pricing near the top end of its range in raising $2.25 billion. The development leaves private equity owners TPG and The Carlyle Group retaining a combined stake of 38 per cent, while Perpetual, AustralianSuper, Blackrock, AMP Capital and Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund will join the register among the top 10 shareholders.
The company, now valued at $3.65bn five years after a $2.7bn takeover, will hit boards on July 31. It will be an eagerly anticipated debut ahead of the even more high profile $4bn listing of Medibank Private, which is likely to join the ASX in the last quarter of the year.
Also in the IPO market, training provider Ashley Services is planning to run a bookbuild for its $100m float on July 31, while Stephen Day, former boss of Valad, is seeking to build a portfolio of industrial property assets of close to $850m for his new venture Propertylink prior to a possible IPO next year.
In finance, investors may have to wait a while before ANZ Bank divests more of its minority stakes in Asian financial institutions, with the bank’s leading international executive saying the firm was in ‘no rush’ on the keenly anticipated divestments. The bank is hoping to rid itself of minority stakes, leaving the options of either selling such assets or raising the stakes, with acquisitions a possibility.
In energy, the ACCC has, as expected, not appealed the Australian Competition Tribunal’s approval of AGL Energy’s $1.5bn purchase of Macquarie Generation. The news leaves AGL free to wrap up the deal with the NSW government and proceed with a capital raising in the order of $1.2bn to fund the acquisition.
Finally, Netflix has refuted claims it is close to buying a significant stake in local streaming business Quickflix, the board of Robust Resources has indicated it will shun a revised takeover bid from Stanhill Capital, claiming the revised $61.5m offer is “opportunistic”. Robust has told shareholders not to act on the proposal as it weighs an official response.