Tune in for Ten's investor reality
This week's shareholder meeting for Australia's fourth-ranked television broadcaster, Ten, could prove to be more entertaining than any of its recent programming bombs.
You know things are going well when the small-time punters are being asked to approve a deal that could hand security over all of the media group's assets to three of its billionaire shareholders, James Packer, Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon, in return for the trio guaranteeing its new $200 million loan.
Then there is the lucrative salary package being awarded to new boy, Hamish McLennan.
The good news is that the broadcaster has maintained its value since last year, with the stock trading around the 26¢ mark on Friday.
The bad news is the stock is still trading around the same level as last year when the previous CEO, James Warburton, had one foot out the door, and the stock was down from 90¢ the year before.
At least there is the promise of some real entertainment if Murdoch senior ever does acquire Ten at this bargain basement price.
The Australian Shareholders Association hit up Murdoch, Ten's chairman, with the question of what relaxation of media ownership laws might mean for Ten with specific reference to a potential News Corp takeover.
"Chairman Lachlan Murdoch assured ASA that it will not be a takeover by News Corporation, even offering to eat the table we were sitting at, if it happened," said the ASA report on Ten.
Now that would be reality television worth watching. CBD did wonder though if the assurance covers a Ten acquisition by News Corp's sibling, 21st Century Fox.
iBuy gets pushy
The Nine Entertainment float may have tanked last week, but punters have another red-hot IPO to consider. Forget old media, let's party like it's 1999.
Yes, we're talking about iBuy which is offering potential investors exposure to "Flash Sales" websites across Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, in a cross pollination of the dotcom and Asia boom.
Killer deals include half-price push-up bras and panties being offered on one of its sites, Dealmates.com. "Give your precious twins both up and down a confident lift when you have a self-adhesive V Bra and padded push-up panties! Available in a gorgeous nude or black with a great discount on Dealmates," says the offer.
iBuy plans to raise $37 million, valuing the business at $113 million when it floats this Friday. Not a bad deal considering it reported a pro forma loss of just $53,832 on revenue of $22.4 million for the six months ending June 30.
To show how cutting edge it is, iBuy will use Just in Time manufacturing techniques to ensure maximum financial efficiency. This means investors have coughed up funding for a company that doesn't actually own anything at this stage.
iBuy plans to actually acquire the businesses it is touting to investors when the offer settles this Wednesday.
Lucky entrepreneurs will net $70 million in cash and shares for selling their businesses into the iBuy float. This includes iBuy directors, Patrick Grove and Lucas Elliott, who will control 25 per cent of the listed company's shares.
Westpac in luck
Clearly no superstitious types at Westpac, which chose Friday 13th for its shareholder meeting.
Not that they had to worry about any mishaps, or excitement, with Gail Kelly and Lindsay Maxsted at the helm.
Asked about RBA governor Glenn Stevens saying he would prefer an exchange rate around US85¢, Kelly's controversial answer was: "We would accord with that."
The AGM exhausted the attention of economics guru, Professor Ross Garnaut, who left two hours into the meeting. And no, he was not seen tucking into the gluten-free goodies outside while the rest of the bank's investors soldiered on.
AdBri chief exits
Adelaide Brighton's chief cement mixer, Mark Chellew, says he will call it quits at next year's AGM after more than a dozen years in the top job.
To think his tenure could have been cut short if the competition watchdog had not blackballed a $1.60 a share bid for AdBri from Boral nearly a decade ago.
Investors have no reason to complain, with the stock now trading above $3.50. Neither does Chellew, who collected $3.87 million in pay for the 2012 fiscal year ending December 31. He also owns 448,000 shares and about 2.85 million "awards" worth about $2 million at the time it was granted, according to AdBri's annual report from May.
Commonwealth Bank and GPT held their Christmas parties on Friday night but missing at CBA's fancy dress do were the lawyers, directors and investment bankers who spent most of the evening nutting out a new management facilitation agreement with Dexus, GPT's rival suitor for the bank's property office fund (CPA).
A few GPT types must have choked on their martinis when the announcement was lodged late that night with the ASX.
The GPT-Dexus tussle for CPA looks set to run into the festive season. Neither side can look forward to a particularly merry Christmas or relaxed new year.
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