© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Australian casino giant Crown Resorts Ltd adorns the hotel and casino complex in Melbourne, Australia, June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed
(Reuters) -Australia is seeing a flurry of deal-making so far this year, as record-low interest rates have given institutional investors and companies a well-funded war chest to chase higher valuations.
From potentially one of Australia’s biggest-ever buyouts to a multi-party tussle for a troubled casino giant, here are some of the major deals Down Under in 2021:
Vocus Group – Macquarie/Aware Super
Vocus Group in March agreed to a A$3.5 billion ($2.61 billion) takeover offer from a consortium of a Macquarie fund and pension fund Aware Super.
Orocobre (OTC:) – Galaxy Resources (OTC:)
Orocobre Ltd in April agreed to buy Galaxy Resources for $1.4 billion to create the world’s fifth most valuable lithium producer.
BINGO Industries – Macquarie
Waste management firm BINGO Industries in April agreed to a A$2.3 billion ($1.72 billion) buyout offer from funds managed by Macquarie.
Tilt Renewables – PowAR/Mercury NZ
New Zealand-listed Tilt Renewables in April agreed to a NZ$3.07 billion ($2.15 billion) bid from a consortium including AGL Energy (OTC:), Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, and Mercury NZ.
Tabcorp – Entain/Apollo Global/Betmakers
UK’s Entain in February offered to buy betting firm Tabcorp Holdings’ wagering and media business. In April, it sweetened its offer to A$3.5 billion ($2.61 billion).
In May, Apollo Global Management (NYSE:) matched Entain’s offer, and BetMakers Technology jumped in with a A$4 billion ($2.98 billion) bid.
Crown Resorts – Blackstone/Star Entertainment
Casino giant Crown Resorts in March received a A$8 billion ($5.97 billion) buyout proposal from Blackstone (NYSE:) and a A$9 billion ($6.71 billion) all-stock offer from peer Star Entertainment Group in May.
Oaktree Capital Group is also in the race for Crown.
Washington H Soul Pattinson – Milton Corp
Australia’s Washington H Soul Pattinson said in June it will buy Milton Corp in a deal that values the target at A$4.05 billion ($3.02 billion).
Boral (OTC:) – Seven Group
In May, diversified investor Seven Group offered to buy shares it does not already own in Boral, valuing the building materials supplier at $6.23 billion.
In July, Seven raised its offer to A$8.75 billion ($6.53 billion), which was rejected.
National Australia Bank (OTC:) – Citigroup (NYSE:)
National Australia Bank, the country’s third-largest lender, said in July it was in talks with Citigroup to buy the U.S. bank’s Australian consumer business.
Sydney Airport – Sydney Aviation Alliance
A consortium called Sydney Aviation Alliance in July made a A$22.26 billion ($16.61 billion) play for Sydney Airport Holdings. If the deal goes through, it will be one of the biggest ever in Australia.
Spark Infrastructure – KKR/Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board
In July, Spark Infrastructure received a A$4.91 billion ($3.67 billion) takeover bid from a consortium including KKR and Canada’s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.
Oil Search (OTC:) – Santos
Oil Search said in August it intended to recommend an improved buyout offer from Santos Ltd, worth A$8.4 billion ($6.2 billion), in a deal that would create a top-20 global oil and gas company. [nL1N2P80ME]
Square Inc (NYSE:) said in August it has agreed to purchase buy now, pay later pioneer Afterpay Ltd to create a global online payments giant, offering a 30% premium in a share-swap deal that is set to be Australia’s biggest-ever buyout.