Tuesday, February 7, 2012

MSF Sugar End Game

The takeover of MSF Sugar by Thailand's Mitr Phol has entered an end game. The offer is now unconditional. Mitr Phol now has 57.69% percent so the condition for at least 50.1% became irrelevant anyway. I would think it inevitable they will achieve 90% in the remaining two weeks which would trigger a compulsory takeover of the remainder.

MSF controls Mulgrave, South Johnstone, and Tableland mills and is based in the thriving CBD of Gordonvale where the chamber of commerce, led by MSF director and shareholder Brett Moller, remain resistant  to a Woolworths supermarket at the same time as they cash in on an offer from Thailand!

Apparently it's good to sell your sugar interest to Thailand at an attractive price, but bad for Woolworths to commit capital to our region with a substantial development and also provide competition to the residents of Gordonvale? Woolworths have appealed after CRC rejected their application and a hearing is set down for June.

The use of planning laws and objections to restrict competition has drawn comment in the past, including from the productivity Commission.In that context the reported comment from local councillor Paul Gregory is interesting.

"Basically a lot of the community is happy to see Woolworths come, but there are those in the Chamber of Commerce and others that don't want to see that happen,' he said.

There is also an interesting commentary at The Conversation on the misguided hypocrisy of Dick Smith when it comes to foreign ownership of his old electronics business. There are some good points made in that link to the frequent assertion that we must always keep business local because the profit stays here.

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