DataRoom AM: Treasury Wine's takeover grapevine

China’s Bright Food Group may have taken a fancy to Treasury Wine Estates, while Roc Oil’s mystery suitor steps out of the shadows.

Treasury Wine Estates may have another bidder circling, with a prominent Chinese group getting a taste for Australian wine assets.

Elsewhere, the mystery bidder for Roc Oil appears to have come out of the woodwork, Seven Group receives further criticism on its Nexus Energy tactics and two prominent private equity firms team up to bid for SAI Global.

Bright Food Group may have put itself in the running for a takeover play for Treasury Wine Estates. The Chinese food and dairy firm has said it will continue to pursue acquisitions in Australia, singling out the wine sector as an area of particular interest, alongside the dairy industry. Given rumours Bright is interested in a bid for TWE, it may not be long until the Australian wine giant receives a higher bid than the $3.05bn offer from KKR it knocked back in May.

The mystery suitor for Roc Oil appears to have been unmasked in the form of Malaysia’s CLIQ Energy. Roc is currently pressing forward on controversial $800 million merger plans with local firm Horizon Oil, but news of an unsolicited bid in June has thrown the deal into further doubt. It is unknown whether Roc is keen to engage with the prospective buyer, with CLIQ merely revealing it’s “interested… as long as [Roc] meets our requirements”.

The failure of Seven Group to get its lowball bid for Nexus Energy past the post has reportedly led it to lobby the firm’s receivers hard to offload the group’s assets by July 31. The second-biggest creditor of Nexus (Seven is the largest), Tor Investments, has said Seven is trying to rush a sale so that other potential suitors have little time to weigh a rival offer to any put forward by Seven.

Also in energy, the $400m sale of Lumo Energy is progressing smoothly, with Origin EnergyM2 Telecommunications and Red Energy at the head of the queue to purchase the Infratil Energy-owned group, according to The Australian Financial Review.

Meanwhile, the battle for SAI Global may be nearing an end as the AFR reports plans for initial bidder Pacific Equity Partners to team with US-based KKR on a joint offer ahead of the July 15 deadline. A $1.1bn proposal from PEP in May kick-started an auction process that has drawn interest from around the world.

In the IPO market, the retail component of Healthscope’s $2.5bn initial public offering opened yesterday, with the deadline for bids likely to be pushed forward amid strong demand. The institutional bookbuild will take place on July 23-24 ahead of the firm’s listing on July 28.

The positivity surrounding the biggest float of the year didn’t carry through to the two firms that hit ASX boards yesterday however, with American Patriot Oil and Gas and educational software firm 3P Learning enduring rough starts to life as listed companies. The former gave up 12.5 per cent on the day, while 3P lost 14 per cent of its value.

In property, Frasers Centrepoint has moved one step closer to an acquisition of Australand Property Group, receiving approval for the deal from the Foreign Investment Review Board. The Singapore suitor, which outbid Stockland for the ASX-listed group, will leave its $2.6bn offer open until August 7.

Also in property, Abacus Property Group is mulling a $185m purchase of the World Trade Centre (now known as WTC) in Melbourne. According to the AFR, Abacus is currently undertaking due diligence on the Asset1 Group-owned complex.

Finally, Mark Bouris’ Yellow Brick Road will acquire Resi Mortgage Corporation for $36 million amid a rapid expansion, while a dividend dispute between Envestra and its preferred suitor Cheung Kong Infrastructure has been left unresolved after the Takeovers Panel refused to intervene.