DataRoom AM: Qantas about-turn

By Daniel Palmer

Finally, Seek has indicated it will continue to chase offshore growth via acquisition, with Bangladesh a particular focus, while APN News & Media has divulged similar plans for expansion, though Australia will remain its focus.

Qantas Airways’ board is expected to next week sign off on a decision by senior management to shun a partial listing of its $3 billion frequent flyer division on the ASX.

Elsewhere, AGL Energy has confirmed a $1. 23bn capital raising to fund its $1. 5bn purchase of Macquarie Generation, while Karoon Gas has detailed plans to pursue a $92m on-market share buyback in the wake of its $650m divestment of a stake in the Poseidon gas field.

Elsewhere, Glencore keeps a watch on BHP Billiton’s assets, Woodside Petroleum puts M&A activity firmly back on the agenda and the Newman government nears a decision on advisory roles for its proposed asset sell-off.

According to The Australian Financial Review, the ‘no’ decision will be announced in conjunction with the firm’s latest earnings release next Thursday, with a float seen by management as a short-term solution that could come back to haunt in the future.

The comments will serve to fuel speculation Glencore could be a prospective suitor for the demerged BHP business, despite Glasenberg warning takeover interest was likely “a long time away”.

There has been no news on the $1. 4bn takeover bid from major shareholder Guangdong Rising Assets Management since PanAust said in July that GRAM and “other interested parties” were undertaking due diligence.

Qantas Airways’ senior management team is believed to have officially scrapped an idea to partially divest the firm’s frequent flyer division after reports emerged yesterday that such a plan was under pressure.

In all there are four mandates up for grabs, with the most lucrative role seen to be an advisory position in the sale of stakes in electricity distributors Powerlink, Energex and Ergon Energy.

In energy, Woodside Petroleum has a war chest to tap into after pulling out of a planned $3bn entry into the mammoth Leviathan gas project earlier this year, with boss Peter Coleman yesterday hinting an acquisition of as much as $5bn may not be too far away.

Announcing strong earnings numbers overnight, Glasenberg singled out Columbian nickel mine Cerro Matoso and BHP’s South African coal assets for particular attention, labeling them as lucrative assets.

Along with Robert Gottliebsen and Stephen Bartholomeusz, Alan also founded Business Spectator, the popular business news and commentary website.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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