The Centralian Advocate Tue 6 Jul 2021
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Australia, Central -- Newspapers
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
TUESDAY JULY 6 2021 BUSINESS 23 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA TERRY MCCRANN WHAT next forBoral andTabcorp?Its beenclear for some time that Tabcorp was embarked on a separation future: the only question had been whether it would be done by a demerger or the sale of the wagering side of the business. The Tabcorp board gave us the answer on Monday: its the demerger and specifically the demerger of the lotteries and keno business, essentially undoing the 2017 merger of the old Tabcorp and Tatts. This is by far the simpler way to do it as against both the sale of wagering to a third party like the two competing bidders, Entain and Apollo, or a demerger of the wagering business out of the existing structure, given the mass of complex approvals required for wagering across Australia. The key point is that it is now all-but impossible for the potential bidders to compete with the internal demerger option. They cant put a blockbuster price on the table, and that merges with the difficulty of wading through the regulatory morass without the active co-operation of the Tabcorp board. Of course, they are entirely welcome to re-start the whole process once the continuing wagering Tabcorp has separated off the lotteries and keno some time in the second half of next year. Does the demerger prove the original merger was a mistake? Id argue not. It did bring into Tabcorp the utility-like earnings of the lotteries business. It also brought in TAB Queensland, giving Tabcorp a national monopoly of the old TABs, just when it needed it to meet the digital challenge of the online bookies. That ongoing national Tabcorp is a much stronger business to meet the even greater challenges of the post (we-hope)-Covid and the ever more digital 2020s. Thus its also a much better and therefore higher-priced business to sell, if that becomes the future. Similarly, the separated lotteries and keno business will be a much better and therefore higher-priced business to sell, if that proves to be its future. Indeed, given its utilitylike revenue and earnings profile, it would be a very attractive target for a group of super funds aiming to copy the $22bn proposal unveiled Monday for Sydney Airport. Its the number one thing now and itss only going to become even more the number one thing into the 2020s: finding enough good assets to invest the trillions of dollars of loose investment cash looking for a home in an era of zero or near zero interest rates. There will be many more Sydney Airports groups of super funds seeking to move from minority stakes in listed entities to grossed-up stakes in anything remotely like a utility. As for Boral, as I wrote last week, its all over bar the counting and some shouting between the board and Seven. Seven has attacked Boral for continuing its share buybacks into the new financial year. Quite why July 1 is of any significant difference to June 30 is beyond me; but I suspect Seven isnt really that fussed. Yes, Seven would like to get the Boral shares directly, to more clearly and quickly cement its control. But for every share Boral buys back, effectively one-third of it ends up in the hands of Seven as Borals capital shrinks and the Seven percentage holding rises. Its the entirely rational thing for Boral to keep doing. Its got $3.6bn of excess cash. Its buying back shares at well under the independently assessed value of $8.25 to $9.13 per Boral share. Seven is going to end up at pretty much the same destination, with a controlling stake of 35 per cent-plus in Boral (as of Friday it was 31 per cent) and control of maybe just a little bit less than $3.6bn of excess capital and cash. Different futures face Tabcorp and Boral job transactions on its online marketplace. Airtasker said that, given the current hard lockdowns, it expected to see a softer start to the new financial year but there would be no impact on its full-year outlook. Airtasker shares have climbed 75 per cent from their debut of 65c and closed up 1.5c at $1.135 on Monday. Founded in 2012 by chief executive Tim Fung, Airtasker boasts that it is the countrys leading online marketplace for local services, enabling more than $1bn in work opportunities and serving more than one million unique paying customers. Airtasker continues to deliver strong results, beating our upgraded guidance, Mr Fung said. This shows how vibrant the Airtasker marketplace is and signals the demand we continue to receive from our community. In Australia, Airtasker is targeting a $52bn market for local services including cleaning, removals, home repairs, photography and event organisation. Airtasker said the average task price was $194, with opportunities emerging in furniture assembly, drone retrieval services, Halloween costume making and datenight planning. AIRTASKER PUTS TOGETHER A HANDY RESULT Airtasker founder and chief executive Tim Fung and chairman James Spenceley. Picture: Ryan Osland Providing over 1.9 million historical records dating back over 20 years, My Tributes is Australias most trusted and visited place to celebrate the life of your loved one. Place a Death, Funeral or Tribute notice starting from $130. Australias place to pay tribute mytributes.com.au/PlaceNoticeCall 13 11 35 or visit mytributes
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