Aussie food fight finish augurs more M&A battles
(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are their own.)
MELBOURNE (Reuters Breakingviews) - Macquarie’s infrastructure and real assets division has triumphed in a bruising takeover battle. After lobbing 19 offers between them, rival private equity bidder Roc Partners has conceded defeat https://www.vitalharvest.com.au/site/PDF/fee09b44-887b-418b-8199-38ffb39e2899/VTHREacceptsTenthMAFMProposal in its quest for Vitalharvest Freehold Trust. The fight added 33% to the headline price for the owner of berry, citrus and avocado farmland. It’s unlikely to be this year’s only over-ripe M&A deal.
Other battles are still underway. These include the A$8.4 billion ($6.5 billion) gamble for casino operator Crown Resorts and the A$4 billion chase for Tabcorp’s wagering and gaming unit.
There’s a fair chance Vitalharvest won’t be the only agribusiness in play. Just a year after severe water shortages and bushfires, farmer confidence https://www.rabobank.com.au/media-releases/2021/210315-productivity-and-profits-underpin-sustained-confidence-in-australias-farm-sector and demand for tractors https://www.commbank.com.au/articles/newsroom/2021/06/aussie-businesses-boost-investment.html are at or near years-long highs as commodity and livestock prices soar. Macquarie at least had some financial advantages in its A$357 million food fight with Roc. But potential buyers can’t plant those in every deal. (By Antony Currie)
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