Stokes & Co strike oil

One of Australia’s smartest investors is acting quickly as the oil price drops: Kerry Stokes is moving to control Beach Energy.

Summary: Seven Group, under executive chairman Kerry Stokes and chief executive Don Voelte, is already sitting on a handsome profit after acquiring a 13.8% stake in Beach Energy last week. Stokes now has the option for a quick exit, pocketing $30 million in cash, or to snatch control of Beach – a possibility with substantial strategic merit.

Key take-out: A quick exit seems unlikely because the raid on Beach has the hallmarks of a classic Stokes deal where he has dealt himself into a game, and is now in a position to control events.

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