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Deals that may be affected by Australia's foreign M&A crackdown

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06/08/2020 | 09:16pm EDT

(This June 5 story corrects paragraph 6 to show stake in common facilities being sold)

Australia plans to give its foreign investment regulator sweeping new powers to intervene in all takeovers from overseas interests regardless of dollar value, citing security concerns.

The changes could affect a hefty pipeline of cross-border deals that are either in progress or the subject of market speculation:

DEALS IN PLAY:

Virgin Australia - the country's No. 2 airline is being sold by administrators. Frontrunners are down to U.S. private equity firms Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital

Healius - Australia's medical and imaging centre chain is selling its medical centers division. China's Jangho owns 15% of the company and suitors named in media reports include Hong Kong-based KKR, PAG, along with Australia's BGH Capital

QCLNG - Royal Dutch Shell is weighing the potential sale of its 26.25% stake in the common facilities on Queensland Curtis LNG, which is expected to fetch more than A$2 billion. No frontrunners have been named.

Infigen - the wind farm company this week rejected an unsolicited bid of $536 million from Philippines firm UAC

Tianqui - the Chinese lithium producer may sell a stake in an Australian project due to financial problems

Treasury Wine's Penfolds - the wine conglomerate has said it wants to spin off its most prestigious label in 2021. No deal structure has been disclosed. China is Treasury's biggest market.

POTENTIAL FUTURE DEALS:

Vocus - the telco has been fending off M&A approaches, including a A$3 billion offer from AGL, following share price underperformance in recent years,

Westpac Banking Corp's life insurance unit - the bank is considering selling the unit as part of an industry-wide simplification drive. The unit is widely seen as attractive to Asian financial entities looking abroad.

National Australia Bank wealth unit - the bank has been trying to offload MLC for several years, but said late last year it was considering an ASX listing instead.

Crown Resorts - Hong Kong casino giant Melco Resorts bought 9.99% of its Australian rival from founder James Packer, sending its shares higher on hopes of a full takeover before Melco froze the plan due to the coronavirus shutdown

Afterpay - China's Tencent Holdings bought a 5% stake of the Australian buy-now-pay-later company, sending its shares rocketing partly because of speculation it might lead to a bigger stake.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye, Paulina Duran and Scott Murdoch; editing by Jane Wardell)

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AFTERPAY LIMITED -1.62% 72.31 End-of-day quote.146.96%
ASX LIMITED 0.18% 84.8 End-of-day quote.8.15%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (AUD/USD) 0.03% 0.6943 Delayed Quote.-0.80%
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED -0.11% 9.03 End-of-day quote.-24.81%
HEALIUS LIMITED 0.00% 3.06 End-of-day quote.10.87%
INFIGEN ENERGY LIMITED 0.00% 0.92 End-of-day quote.41.54%
JANGHO GROUP CO., LTD. -0.96% 6.19 End-of-day quote.-14.74%
KKR & CO. INC. 0.46% 34.89 Delayed Quote.19.61%
LETS HOLDINGS GROUP CO., LTD. -1.85% 11.64 End-of-day quote.92.72%
LINE CORPORATION -0.54% 5500 End-of-day quote.2.80%
LOOK HOLDINGS INCORPORATED -2.42% 685 End-of-day quote.-45.29%
MELCO HOLDINGS INC. 0.62% 3225 End-of-day quote.3.70%
MELCO RESORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED 2.56% 15.61 Delayed Quote.-35.42%
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED -1.11% 17.86 End-of-day quote.-27.49%
ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC 1.38% 14.134 Delayed Quote.-45.98%
ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC 0.64% 1188.8 Delayed Quote.-46.92%
S&P/ASX 200 -0.61% 5919.2 Real-time Quote.-11.44%
TENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED -2.93% 546.5 End-of-day quote.45.50%
THE LEAD CO., INC. -1.71% 345 End-of-day quote.-11.54%
THE NEW HOME COMPANY INC. 2.16% 3.31 Delayed Quote.-28.97%
TIANQI LITHIUM CORPORATION 7.16% 28.72 End-of-day quote.-4.84%
TREASURY WINE ESTATES LIMITED -3.93% 10.52 End-of-day quote.-35.22%
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED 6.17% 0.086 End-of-day quote.-42.67%
VOCUS GROUP LIMITED -2.95% 2.96 End-of-day quote.3.50%
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION -1.40% 17.66 End-of-day quote.-27.12%
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