Blackstone shortlisted for Ingham Chicken deal
Blackstone Group LP and China agribusiness company New Hope Group are through to the final round of bidding for Australia's largest poultry producer Inghams Enterprises, a deal that could be worth as much as A$1.4 billion ($1.5 billion), sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Second-round bids are due by mid-December in the deal, which could be the largest private equity buyout in Asia this year, the sources said. Inghams Enterprises, which owns the Ingham Chicken brand, was founded in 1918 by Walter Ingham and employs 9,000 people across Australia and New Zealand. Bob Ingham, who turned 81 this year, decided to sell the business he inherited in 1953 from his father. Australian food manufacturers have been highly sought after by private equity and other Asian buyers in the past two years due to resilient sales and steady cashflows, which have withstood a slowing economy.
Business confidence in Germany surprisingly up
German business confidence unexpectedly rose from the lowest in 2 1/2 years in November, signaling Europe’s largest economy may regain some strength.
The Munich-based Ifo institute said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, climbed to 101.4 from 100 in October, the first gain in eight months. Economists predicted a drop to 99.5, according to the median of 48 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. French business confidence increased from the lowest in more than three years this month, a separate report showed today. German growth slowed less than economists forecast in the third quarter even as the euro area, the country’s largest trading partner, slipped into recession and the outlook for the global economy dimmed.
Bundesrat rejects pact on undeclared Swiss A/cs
Germany’s upper house of parliament rejected an accord over undeclared bank accounts in Switzerland, dealing a blow to Swiss efforts to retain European clients spooked by a crackdown on tax evasion.
The Bundesrat, controlled by the opposition parties after state election losses by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, voted to block the agreement signed by the two nations last year. The exact result of the vote today in Berlin wasn’t disclosed. The collapse of an accord that would have imposed a withholding tax on offshore accounts held by Germans is a setback for Swiss banks as they try to stem withdrawals by European customers concerned about a widening hunt for tax dodgers. Germany’s opposition Social Democratic and Green parties