The bidding war for Australian dairy assets has taken an unexpected twist, with New Zealand-based dairy giant Fonterra launching an overnight raid on Bega shares. Overnight, Fonterra purchased 10% of Bega in an after-market share raid. Bega, in turn, is one of a number of companies bidding for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, joining Canadian food giant Saputo, Lion and Murray Goulburn. Lion, Bega and Murray Goulburn currently own 45% of WCB, which they are keen to purchase in a bid to cash in on the growing infant formula market in Asia. "The key issue is the purchase of milk off farmers; are there enough people wanting to buy their milk?" ACCC chair Rod Sims says. "Basically Fonterra, Murray Goulburn and Warrnambool buy about one-third of the milk and Bega is quite a small player in that market, so Bega [bidding for WCB] wasn't such an issue. There is a bigger issue with Murray Goulburn.” South Korea close to free trade agreement South Korea is close to agreement on a potential free trade agreement with Australia, following a visit by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop two weeks ago. According to The Australian, the key sticking point in negotiations was a clause dealing with international arbitration, which the Rudd/Gillard government was unwilling to agree to, but the current government is. “The new government is taking a different approach, so the hurdle is being removed,” Young-Moo Kim, director-general for FTA negotiation at South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, says. Murdoch says embrace innovation Rupert Murdoch has urged Australians to embrace the challenges posed by the emergence of a middle class in China through innovation, in a speech to the Lowy Institute. “While the lack of a huge domestic market presents challenges, it also means we have fewer huge industries demanding the government protections common in large industrial nations – and fatal for any society that hopes to advance in a disruptive world,” Murdoch said. “The disruptive forces in the world economy today are as relentless as they are remorseless. But once we embrace that reality, we can make sure they are rewarding.” Overnight The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.47% to 15545.75. The Aussie dollar is at US94.61 cents.
News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch has filed divorce papers in the New York Supreme Court, ending his marriage of 14 years to his third wife, Wendi Deng. Deng is best known for preventing comedian Jonathan May-Bowles from throwing a pie at Murdoch at a hearing into the News Corp phone tapping scandal. News of the divorce comes as Murdoch prepares to separate News Corporation into an entertainment company called 21st Century Fox, which will hold the company’s film and television assets, and a “new News Corp” which will own its publishing interests. AustralianSuper in the market for a merger AustralianSuper chief executive Ian Silk has revealed the $62 billion super fund is looking at mergers and acquisitions, with the $1.6 trillion retirement savings sector set to consolidate over the coming years. “It's pretty clear that the regulators and public policy is pushing in the direction of a smaller number of large funds rather than a large number of smaller funds,” Silk says. “If we are true to our label and true to our beliefs that we exist only for the benefit of members, then we should continue to grow so long as that growth adds value for members.” Slight improvement in unemployment rate, due to lower participation The unemployment rate fell slightly, from 5.6% in April to 5.5% in May, reducing the prospects for further Reserve Bank rate cuts. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the drop was led by 0.1% drop in the participation rate, with the number of full-time jobs down by 5300, offset by the creation of 6400 part-time jobs. The shift to part-time work was reflected in the number of hours worked, which fell 0.7% to 1.63 billion hours for May. Overnight The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 1.21% to 15,176.08. The Aussie dollar is up to US96.47 cents.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard is set to use a speech at the Per Capita Institute think tank in Canberra to reveal a $12 billion forecast deficit in the federal budget this financial year, due to lower taxes from companies. However, despite the massive shortfall, the Prime Minister is expected to rule out cuts to major new spending initiatives, including the Gonski school funding reforms or DisabilityCare. “Put simply, spending is controlled, but the amount of tax money coming to the government is growing much slower than expected. As we make those decisions, let me be crystal clear about what we will and won't do,” Gillard is set to say in the speech. “Our nation cannot afford to leave children behind or to leave our nation's future economy limping behind the pack, unable to attract the high-wage, high-skill jobs of the future … DisabilityCare must not be jeopardised.” Rupert Murdoch to cash in on News Corp split Rupert Murdoch’s remuneration is set to jump by nearly $4 million as a result of a split that will see News Corp divided into two separate companies in June. Under the proposal, Murdoch is set to become chairman and chief executive of the 21st Century Fox corporation, which will control his media empire’s broadcasting and entertainment assets, as well as the executive chairman of the “new News Corp” which will control the company’s publishing assets. While Murdoch’s base salary will remain at $US20.6 million for his role with both entities, his long-term incentives are set to increase from $US4 million to $US7.7 million. James Packer gains approval for Sri Lankan casino The Sri Lankan government has reportedly granted approval to gaming tycoon James Packer for a new casino in Colombo, according to a report in Sri Lanka's Business Times. Under the proposal, the $250 million Crown Colombo complex will include a 36-story casino and resort complex, to be built in the D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha district of Colombo. A Crown spokesperson said the gaming giant is yet to make a final decision on whether to go ahead with the project, and is evaluating a number of other offshore expansion opportunities. Overnight The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.1% to 14712.6. The Aussie dollar is down to US102.82 cents.
Sydney-based start-up Eatlove has signed celebrity chefs such as Kylie Kwong and Matt Moran to its recipe website, having secured financial backing from Rupert Murdoch’s nephew. Eatlove, led by chief executive Mark Ashbridge (pictured below), describes itself as a “destination where food lovers can eat, cook and shop with inspiring chefs”. In essence, it encourages top Australian chefs to share and curate their favourite recipes and food knowledge directly with food enthusiasts online. Earlier this year, it was named Best Publisher at the AIMIA Awards. The business has announced a second partnership with food publisher Lantern, having already secured a deal with Murdoch Books, acquired by Allen & Unwin last year. Ashbridge is financially backed by Rupert Murdoch’s nephew Matt Handbury (pictured below), who sold Murdoch Books to Allen & Unwin. But that’s not the only big name Ashbridge has under his belt. Above: Matt Handbury. Eatlove says its partnership with Lantern, which takes effect in May, will increase the number of chef-authors to 50. Lantern, which is an imprint of Penguin Books, specialises in publishing high quality illustrated books, with a focus on food, travel, gardening, lifestyle, interior design and art. It will bring celebrity chefs such as Kylie Kwong, Maggie Beer, Manu Feildel, Tobie Puttock, Matt Moran, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan to Eatlove. Eatlove is seeking to raise around half a million dollars to fund the second iteration of the website and will consider globalising the content by introducing more international chefs. Above: Mark Ashbridge. Ashbridge, whose background is in music and publishing, told StartupSmart he came up with the Eatlove concept whilst working at Murdoch Books, where he served as head of digital. “My background is music and I noticed quite a lot of correlation between the two industries. Music is undergoing quite a lot through disruption,” he says. “With food, the same thing is happening. The physical books are still selling well but getting harder to sell, and a lot of consumers are going online for their content. “At the same time, [Murdoch Books asked me to] start developing a concept with food exclusively online… It was about challenging the status quo. “I wanted to do it in a way that was premium, and I also wanted to do it in a way that differentiates itself from recipe databases. Above: Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris. “It’s way more kind of curational and way more kind of celebrity or expert-orientated.” Ashbridge, who left Murdoch Books to set up Eatlove as a standalone business, admits getting celebrity chefs on board only came “with a lot of hard work”. “The value for us was in developing great working relationships with publishers who have created the content, namely Murdoch Books initially and Allen & Unwin, which got Murdoch, and also Lantern,” Ashbridge says. “It was two steps really – developing and showcasing the website to the publisher, who develops and owns the [chefs’] content, and working very close with the chefs. “What Eatlove should grow to be is something of a marketing channel for them.”
The Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia has slammed the federal government's proposed anti-discrimination legislation on the basis it does not protect small business and vilifies small business owners.
US President Barack Obama might be the world’s most powerful person, according to Forbes, but there’s a handful of entrepreneurs on this year’s list for start-ups to draw inspiration from.
I have been thinking long and hard about what the goal of launching a new business should be. And to be honest, I’m not sure if my conclusion is profound or just completely obvious.
During the first wave of internet start-ups in the 1990s, a majority of the businesses being created actually had business models.
Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has warned that further savings are needed if the government is to achieve its projected $1.5 billion surplus, amid challenges such as changing consumer behaviour and the high Australian dollar.
News Corporation has posted a massive $1.46 billion loss in the fourth quarter, writing down the value of its global publishing empire, including its Australian newspapers.
Having a big name involved in your start-up is likely to draw investor and media attention to your business, but it’s unlikely to sustain it in the long term.
Australia’s mining boom will end in just two years, with the Federal Government set to struggle to get the budget back to surplus this year, a new report has predicted.
Business industry groups are calling on the big banks to pass on yesterday’s Reserve Bank 50 basis point interest rate cut.
Federal finance minister Penny Wong has denied that the Prime Minister is putting pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut rates, insisting that the Government’s focus is returning Australia to surplus.
News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch has indicated he is preparing to “hit back” at what he describes as the “lies” directed towards his business.
By now you’ve probably heard about Rupert Murdoch joining Twitter, but if you haven’t been following his Tweets then hurry up – it’s incredibly entertaining and more than a little thought provoking.
Just two weeks ago, Airbnb appeared to be on an unstoppable rise to the top. The business had expanded internationally, including Australia, and had raised $112 million in funding.
Rupert Murdoch could’ve eased into a well-heeled retirement in the past decade, quietly slipping away to one of his many properties and handing over the reins to son James, who, until the past two weeks, appeared to be his heir apparent.
Where do good ideas come from? Many entrepreneurs vaguely cite flashes of inspiration for their businesses, but it is possible to identify a process to idea generation.
This article first appeared on July 20, 2011. The startling fact to come out of the News Corporation hacking scandal from a management point of view is the lack of information that was apparently reaching to top levels of the company.