25 May IPOs ARE BACK; MORE M&A ACTIVITY IN THE MEDIA SECTOR; DIY BOOM TAKES RETAILERS BY SURPRISE
Welcome to today’s business and media intelligence, with insights collected over the past 24-hours.
CALLS FOR CHANGES TO DISCLOSURE OBLIGATION ON MARKET CONSENSUS
- Company directors should be relieved of their obligations to correct inaccurate market consensus forecasts, which has become a “guessing game”, according to former ANZ and Woodside chairman Charles Goode and investment banker Tony Burgess. They are calling on the ASX to suspend the disclosure obligation on market consensus, which otherwise opens a pathway for litigation. Read more in The Australian here. (Subscriber access)
SHAREHOLDERS AT THE BACK OF THE QUEUE
- Fidelity’s Kate Howitt writes in an oped in the AFR today on the shift of company priorities from shareholders to all stakeholders. Companies are changing their interactions with customers, staff and the broader community, which is costly. This will lead to lower margins and small dividends to shareholders, a stark reminder of their position at the back of the stakeholder queue. (Subscriber access)
IPOs ARE BACK
- The market for public equity is picking up in the United States. Many companies have binged on debt or obtained funds needed through rounds of private funding. However, this may change as six companies have filed plans to float in the past two weeks, with bankers predicting more will come. Only 34 companies have floated in the US this year – the lowest tally since 2016, squeezing fees for underwriters. Read the Financial Times article here. (Subscriber access).
- Meanwhile, at home, The Australian speculates that as restrictions start to ease, the market may be more conducive for deals around November, singling out technology companies as potential IPO candidates. Read more here. (Subscriber access)
SUPER – TIME FOR CONSOLIDATION, EXPERT SAYS
- Management consultancy Right Lane argues that Australia’s superannuation industry should have at most 15 funds, down from the existing 92 and predicts a wave of consolidation in the sector as pressures on fees and costs is exacerbated by COVID-19. Right Lane argues that funds need a minimum of 500,000 active members to have scale to operate efficiently. Read more in The AFR here. (Subscriber access)
DIY BOOM TAKES RETAILERS BY SURPRISE
- The pandemic lockdown has had one unexpected effect – more of us are spending money on improves our homes. This has created a boom for those companies able to take advantage of the spending spree and has some wondering whether ongoing international travel restrictions will support a continuation of the spending trend in improvements. Read the article in The Australian here. (Subscriber access)
MORE M&A ACTIVITY IN THE MEDIA SECTOR
- A consortium made up of about 10 investors and philanthropists has enlisted former Foxtel and News Corp Australia chief executive Peter Tonagh to lead its bid for AAP. The consoritum says it wants to support the company through the transition with philanthropy and support the work of their journalists, according to the SMH (Subscriber access)
- Nine Entertainment has sold its New Zealand business Stuff to its local chief executive Sinead Boucher for just NZ$1. The surprise sale comes weeks after Nine called off the Stuff sale talks with NZ’s dominant media company andowner of the New Zealand Herald, NZME. Read more in The Australian. (Subscriber access)
Cannings’ CEO Renée Bertuch will reflect on what we have seen from Australian corporate and political leaders through the crisis and discuss lessons to be learned and applied as we move into recovery mode, in a WPP webcast today at 12:30pm. She will be joined by Lynas CEO, Amanda Lacaze, in what is sure to be a lively Q&A session. The event is free to join – register now.
Our daily briefing is not meant to be a summary of media coverage but rather, insights that may be helpful in understanding how organisations are communicating with stakeholders in a time of crisis – and what comes next. Sign up via email.