Assessing the top 150 as at July 15 2023

February 16, 2024

This list looks at the top 150 companies as reported in The Australian on July 15, 2023, plus expands it below by listing another 80 Australian-based ASX listed companies with a market cap above $1 billion. Compare it with this list of 171 former $1 billion+ companies which have disappeared from the ASX lists either through takeover of failure.

1. BHP, $230b: too big to take over but too much value given to Billiton shareholders in the foolish 2001 merger - swallowed OZ Minerals for almost $10 billion in early 2023.

2. CBA, $169b: protected from takeover and swallowed State Bank of Victoria, State Bank of NSW, Bankwest and Colonial over the years.

3. CSL, $126b: floated in 1994 with takeover protection both through Federal legislation and in its constitution. Two thirds of the directors must be Australian citizens.

4. NAB, $84.5b: part of Big Four oligopoly and effectively protected from takeover. Only major takeovers over the years were in the UK, US, Bank of New Zealand and MLC, all of which which were dumped except for BNZ.

5. Westpac (WBC), $75.3b: the old Bank of NSW and effectively protected from takeover. Bought Bank of Melbourne, Challenge Bank, St George Bank, Advance Bank and parts of BT over the years.

6. ANZ, $75.3b: part of Big Four oligopoly and effectively protected from takeover. Currently trying to buy Suncorp's banking business for $5 billion.

7. Macquarie Group (MQG), $70.6b: listed in 1996 and now world's largest manager of infrastructure assets. Has floated more businesses than any other ASX listed company, such as Nuix, Boart Longyear, Dyno Nobel, Macquarie Airports, Macquarie Media, Macquarie Infrastructure Group etc.

# 8. Fortescue Group (FMG), $70.2b: 3rd biggest iron ore producer and still 30% owned by the recently separated Andrew and Nicola Forrest.

9. Woodside Energy (WDC), $68.9b: named after a small Gippsland town, initially sponsored by BHP and Shell and finally became independent when Shell exited the register and BHP sold its oil and gas assets for shares that were distributed to its own shareholders. No major shareholder and Peter Costello saved it from a Shell takeover more than 20 years ago. Made a move on Santos in late 2023.

10. Wesfarmers (WES), $55.4b: Perth-based farmers co-operative that was founded in 1914 but only listed in 1984. Secured hardware dominance with the $2.7b takeover of Howard Smith in 2001 and retail dominance with the 2007 takeover of Coles Group, but then demerged Coles a few years back. Bunnings is its best business.

11. Telstra (TLS), $49.8b: floated by the Howard Government in 3 stages, starting in 1997.

12. Woolworths (WOW), $47.5b: floated out of the Adsteam empire in 1992 at just $2.45 and now $38.96, even after demerging pokies and liquor division Endeavour Group in 2021.

13. Rio Tinto (RIO), $44.2b: should be higher but dual listed UK shares are excluded from the calculation. Takeover proof as CCP controlled Chinalco is largest shareholder with about 10%, picked up during the GFC.

14. Transurban (TCL), $43.3b: floated by Macquarie and Transfield in 1996 after they won the tender to build Melbourne's City Link tollroad project and then gobbled up most other tollroads in Australia, particularly after fending off a $5.57 a share takeover bid in 2010 which valued the company at just $7 billion.

# 15. Goodman Group (GMG), $38.8b.
CEO Greg Goodman has been with the company for 27 years and owns a 4.8% stake worth about $800m. Almost sent broke by an unsupportive CBA during the GFC but now the world's biggest industrial property manager.

# 16. Wisetech Global (WTC), $26.2b. along with Atlassian, our best tech start up and the only one listed on the ASX. Founder Richard White still controls the company.

# 17. Aristocrat Leisure (ALL), $25.4b. floated in 1996 and the Ainsworth family still control 10-15% spread across 10 family members so difficult to take it over. Len Ainsworth recently turned 100 and his 7 sons can't sell their shares until after he dies.

18. Santos (STO), $25b. the 15% shareholder limit was lifted by the SA Govt in 2007 and it sensibly fought off multiple takeover offers over the past 6 years, before gobbling up Oil Search in 2021 to arguably make itself too big to buy, until Woodside came along in late 2023.

#### 19. Newcrest (NCM), $25b. The last big gold miner standing and recently agreed to be taken over by Denver-based US giant Newmont in an all-scrip offer valued at $29 billion. Has since disappeared, to be replaced by shares in predator Newmont.

20. Coles Group (COL), $24.3b. Spun out of Wesfarmers which has progressively sold down its residual 15% stake in recent years so now, like Woolworths, has a completely open share register.

21. QBE Insurance (QBE), $22.3b. was once subjected to a takeover bid by Rene Rivkin but now has a completely open share register.

# 22. REA Group (REA), $19.7b. 61% owned by News Corp which doesn't appear in The Australian's top 150 despite being dual listed on the ASX and having a big Australian business.

23. Brambles (BXB), $19.5b. shortly before Don Argus became chairman, it was all set to relocate its head office to Virginia, near Washington DC. Was dual listed in London after GKN merger and apart from Asciano having a brief nibble, has not been subjected to a serious takeover bid in recent years.

24. Xero, $18.7b. Booming NZ-based accounting software company.

25. South32 (S32), $17.9b. Comprises much of the old Billiton assets in South Africa and was spun out of BHP almost a decade ago, with David Crawford as founding chair.

26. James Hardie (JHX), $17.8b. Left for Ireland after its asbestos scandals but remains primarily a US and Australian focused building products group with no major shareholder.

27. Suncorp (SUN), $17.3b. floated by the Queensland Government in the 1990s and reached scale in the insurance sector after merging with Promina and buying GIO off AMP. Currently trying to sell its banking business to ANZ for $5 billion.

28. Sonic Healthcare, $16.8b. the giants of Australia's pathology sector with a long term management team and no major shareholder.

29. Northern Star, $15.3b. with Newcrest gobbled up by Newcrest, it has become the largest Australian-based and focused listed gold miner with the Kalgoorlie Super Pit being its biggest operation.

30. Pilbara Minerals, $15.2b. the best Australian success story so far in the emerging lithium mining market with no major shareholder.

31. Cochlear (COH), $15.1b. floated by Pacific Dunlop in 1994-95 for just $2.50 a share when a demerger would have retained all future group for the existing shareholders. Stock at $230 by July 2023 and never received a public takeover bid.

32. Origin Energy (ORG), $14.8b. demerged by Boral in 2000 and appeared set to disappear into the belly of two foreign predators, Brookfield and EIG, which bid $9.39 a share or $20 billion but were blocked by largest shareholder Australian Super.

# 33. Computershare (CPU), $14.5b. floated in 1994 when it raised $18m at $1.80 per share and founder Chris Morris exited the board in November 2021 with 32m shares or 5.3%. Australian Super is the largest holder with around 11%.

34. Scentre Group (SCG), $14.2b. the old Australian and New Zealand assets of Westfield which are internally managed. Founding Lowy family now completely out but the CEO Elliott Rusanow is a relative. No major shareholder.

# 35. Mineral Resources (MIN), $14.1b. still run by billionaire Perth-based British migrant Chris Ellison and enjoying the twin gains of booming iron ore and lithium prices. Floated in 2006 after raising $22.5m at 90c and Ellison owns 22.5m shares or about 12%, a stake worth $1.63b with the stock at $72.50.

36. IAG, $14b. Demutualised and listed by the Nick Whitlam chaired NRMA board in the late 1990s and no major shareholder. Received a largely scrip bid from QBE in 2008 when its shares were at $4 and QBE was riding high at $23. IAG has a little known poison pill given the still mutually-owned RACV has pre-emptive rights over their 70-30 joint venture in NSW and Victoria, Insurance Manufacturers of Australia.

# 37. Resmed, $13.5b. fabulous company which helps people sleep well. Still primarily listed in the US even though it has an Australian founder, whose son now runs the business.

38. Fisher & Paykel, $13.2b. the biggest of the 10 Kiwi companies listed in The Australian's top 150. Has migrated from white goods to healthcare.

# 39. Ramsay Healthcare (RHC), $12.9b. the late founder Paul Ramsay left his controlling stake with a trust which remains the largest shareholder with 43m shares or 18.8%. New York-based private equity giant KKR lobbed a cash bit at $88 a share in April 2022 but then walked away 5 months later. Stock back to $56.41.

40. VanguardASI, $12.4b. Vanguard's biggest Australian shares ETF. It's not a company so why does The Australian list it in the top 150?

# 41. IGO Ltd, $12.2b. floated in January 2002 after raising $3.5m at 20c and now a major lithium, nickel and copper player in WA. The largest shareholder is billionaire prospector Mark Creasy who owns 80.5m shares or a 10.6% stake worth $1.3 billion.

# 42. Reece Australia (REH), $12.2b
. the plumbing supplies business is still majority controlled by the three Wilson brothers who are now all in their 80s. Long time executive chairman Alan Wilson has successfully shunned governance rules to anoint his son Peter Wilson to become executive chairman at some point in the future when the current independent chair Tim Poole leaves the board.

43. ASX, $11.8b. demutualised in 1998 and bulked up after taking over SFE Corp, which had also demutualised and listed. An agreed takeover by the Singapore Stock Exchange was blocked by the Federal Labor Government in 2011 in a rare defeat for then chairman David Gonski.

44. APA Group (APA), $11.6b. initially floated by AGL as the Australian Pipeline Trust in 2000 when it raised $488 million at $2. Now the dominant player in the gas pipeline space with its shares at $9.84 after years of great performance. Hong Kong giant CKI bid $13 billion or $11 a share in 2018 but it was quickly blocked by then Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

45. The Lottery Group, $11.5b. Demerged by Tabcorp in 2022 and has its roots in Victoria's Tatts Group, which was taken over by Tabcorp in 2020.

# 46. Soul Pattinson (SOL), $11.4b. one of Australia's oldest listed companies and protected from takeover by its Brickworks cross shareholding. Bulked up considerably after overpaying with $4b worth of its shares for Milton in 2021, Australia's third biggest listed investment company. Bid for Perpetual in late 2023.

47. AIA, $11.4b. one of the 10 Kiwi companies listed in The Australian's top 150 and operates the Auckland Airport. City of Auckland has recently sold down to no longer be the largest shareholder.

# 48. Endeavour Group (EDV), $11.2b. Liquor, pubs and pokies giant which was spun out of Woolworths in 2021 and has pokies billionaire Bruce Mathieson as its biggest shareholder with a 15% stake. Woolworths has sold down to about 9% and recently supported the board when Mathieson went to war with them, attempting to remove independent chair Peter Hearl and CEO Steve Donohue.

49. Qantas (QAN), $10.9b. agreed to sell itself to a private equity consortium at $5.60 a share in 2007 but the bid failed to meet the 50% takeover threshold despite board approval. Surprising this was politically tolerated by the Howard Government at the time.

#### 50. Allkem, $10.5b. an emerging lithium giant after the $4 billion merger of Orocobre and Galaxy Resources in 2021. Toyota was the only substantial shareholder with 6.16% and it has now merged with a US-based major Livent.

51. Stockland, $10b:
diversified property giant which has never received a takeover bid despite having an open share register for more than 20 years. Founder Irvin Graf retired as chair in 2002 and then passed away at the age of 77 in 2002. First floated in 1957 after being founded by Graf and Albert Scheinberg in 1952. See Wikipedia entry.

52. Amcor, $9.4b: primary listing and head office is now outside Australia after it bought US company Bemis in 2019 and then listed on the NYSE. No major shareholder and never been subjected to a public takeover bid.

53. Mirvac (MGR), $9.3b: mopped up its listed associate in 2009 and scaled up when it won the management rights to the likes of the Westpac Office Fund and one of the AMP property trusts. An open register and never been subjected to a takeover offer.

54. Bluescope (BSL), $9.3b: spun out of BHP in the early 2000s, no major shareholder and never been subjected to a bid.

55. Medibank Private, $9.2b. floated by the Abbott Government in 2014 at $2 a share, raising $5.5 billion. Has no major shareholder and never been subjected to a bid. Stock now at $3.35 so a good buy for float investors.

56. Cars Group (CAR) , $9.2b. floated at $3.50 a share in 2009 raising $248 million and then controlling shareholder PBL Media (run by private equity firm CVC at the time) foolishly dumped its controlling 49.1% stake at just $4.92 a share in 2011, raising $565 million. The shares are now at $24.39 so CVC wouldn't have lost all its equity if it had just hung on.

# 57. Seven Group Holdings (SVW), $9.1b: after Christopher Skase went under, Seven was floated by the banks at $2 a share in 1993 raising $600m, with Telstra taking 10% and News Corp 15%. Both later sold out, clearing the way for Kerry Stokes to do one of his creeping takeover moves without ever making a full bid. Stokes then sold half of it to private equity firm KKR in 2006 and later backed his Westrac business into it 2010, before then dumping all his media interests into poor old WA News in 2011 which paid an inflated $4.1 billion.

# 58. TPG Telecom, $9.1b: a roll-up of most of the long term competitors to Telstra and Optus which is now 25% owned by Hutchison, 25% by Vodafone, 14.2% by billionaire David Teoh and 12.6% by Soul Pattinson. That leaves just 23.2% for everyone else.

59. Atlas Arteria, $9.1b: ASX listed tollroad company with no assets in Australia that is currently being noisily pursued by industry funds group IFM which owns 23% but is yet to lob a formal bid. Initially floated by Macquarie as Infrastructure Trust Australia in 1996.

# 60. Worley (WOR), $8.9b. floated at just $2 a share in 2002 when it raised $96 million and has been stalked by Middle Eastern group Dar which offered $2.9 billion in 2016 or $11.80 a share. Worley remains difficult to acquire as long as billionaire chairman John Grill remains in place with his 6.5%, although DAR is sitting tight with 22.5%. Shares now at $16.87.

61. AFIC (AFI), $8.85b. Australia's biggest LIC with more than 100,000 retail shareholders.

62. Dexus, $8.8b. Australia's biggest office tower REIT which has no strategic shareholder, has never received a bid and is trading at a hefty discount to NTA given the work from home phenomenon.

# 63. Vicinity Centres (VCX), $8.7b: a combination of the old Centro and CFS Retail which still has billionaire John Gandel as its biggest shareholder with a 16.2% stake worth $1.32 billion with the stock at $1.91.

64. Spark NZ, $8.67b: One of the 10 Kiwi companies listed in The Australian's top 150.

65. Seek (SEK), $8.6b: floated in 2005. PBL-CMH sold its 25% stake in 2009 for $440 million of $5.05 a share so now has an open share register as the founding Bassat brothers together own less than 5%. Stock now at $24.10 so Packer regrets selling.

66. Mercury Energy, $8.3b: one of the 10 Kiwi companies listed in The Australian's top 150.

67. GPT Group (GPT): $8.2b: created by Lend Lease in 1970 and then fended off a Lend Lease takeover in 2004 when Japanese arbitrage fund Citadel and rival property player Westfield voted down the scheme. Also fended off a Stockland takeover during this period when it internalised management and became independent. Almost collapsed under an enormous debt load during the GFC when it did an emergency equity raising at historically low prices.

68. Treasury Wine Estates (TWE): spun out of Foster's in 2011 and then KKR offered $2.9 billion or $4.70 a share in 2014, which was thankfully rejected with the stock now at $10.93. Did a major $1.6 billion Californian acquisition in late 2023.

69. Infratil, $7.8b: One of the 10 Kiwi companies listed in The Australian's top 150.

70. AGL Energy (AGL), $7.7b: started out as the monopoly gas distributor in NSW and now an integrated "gentailer" with national operations and a stronger focus on renewables after an activist intervention by billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes.

71. Aurizon Holdings, $7.25b: floated as QR National in 2010 when the Queensland government raised $4.05 billion from investors at $2.55 whilst retaining a 34% stake which is now down to zero. Stock now $3.94.

72. Ampol, $7.2b: has a long history going back to Pioneer International and was controlled for many years by US giant Chevron but is now an independent with no major shareholder.

73. Evolution Mining (EVN), $6.9b: floated in 2002 when it raised $5m at 20c and has risen to become an operating powerhouse in the mining space.

74. Orica (ORI), $6.9b: originally traded as ICI Australia before the British parent sold out in the 1990s.

# 75. Pro Medicus, $6.8b: raised $23m in a 2000 float at $1.15 and rose to become a global powerhouse in transmitting imaging in the medical space whilst still run by two founding billionaires, Sam Hupert and Tony Hall.

76. Ebos Group, $6.7b: a 100 year old NZ-based company focuses on medical and pharmacy distribution, which was blocked from buying Greencross Vets in 2023 when its shareholders baulked at the associated capital raising.

77. Argo Investments (ARG), $6.66b: Adelaide-based listed investment company second only to AFIC.

78. Next DC, $6.64b: fast growing data centres company which in 2023 completed another major capital raising for two new centres.

79. Lynas, $6.63b: was a capital eating loser for years before rare earths took off and its Malaysian and Kalgoorlie operations became loved by the market.

80. Meridian Energy, $6.55b: dual listed NZ energy utility.

# 81. Liontown Resources (LTR), $6.4b:
floated in 2006 when it raised $7m at 20c and has risen to be a major player in the battery minerals space. Gina Resources spent $1.2 billion buying 20% to scare off a US predator in 2023.

82. Yancoal Australia, $6.3b: Chinese controlled coal miner focused on the Hunter Valley.

83. IDP Education (IEL), $6.27b: foolishly floated by Seek at just $2.65 in November 2015 but the University shareholders have all made a fortune with the stock at $22.52, although collectively they no longer control it.

84. Steadfast Group (SDF), $6b:
floated in 2013 when it raised $344m at $1.20 and has powered ahead in the insurance broking space ever since, including another large capital raising to fund an acquisition in late 2023.

85. Cleanaway Waste, $5.92b: floated at Transpacific Industries by billionaire Terry Peabody in 2005 at $2.40 a share with a $210 million raising. Stock soared ahead of the GFC after a series of debt-funded acquisitions, including Cleanaway, and then tanked. Peabody is now completely out and the stock is at $2.66.

86. Lend Lease (LLC), $5.9b: a lumbering giant which hasn't delivered good returns for investors ever since Stuart Hornery and David Higgins bailed out in the late 1990s.

87. Incitec Pivot (IPL), $5.57b: began trading on the ASX on 30 July 2003 after the merger between Incitec Fertilizers and the Pivot group. Expanded with the acquisition of Southern Cross Fertilisers in 2006 and Dyno Nobel in 2008, making it Australia's biggest fertiliser producer and the world's second biggest explosives manufacturer. See Wikipedia entry.

88. Whitehaven Coal (WHC), $5.56b: coal miner which was was controlled by Nathan Tinkler back in the day before he went broke. Chaired by former Nationals leader Mark Vaile and recently bulked up with a major Queensland coal acquisition off BHP.

89. Charter Hall (CHC), $5.5b: almost went broke during the GFC but has emerged to be the largest owner/manager of Australian property listed on the ASX, with multiple listed trusts in the group.

90. ALS Ltd, $5.5b: Brisbane-based mineral testing giant with global operations and no major shareholder.

91. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank (BEN), $5.1b: as the name suggests, resulted from a merger of Bendigo Bank and Bank of Adelaide.

# 92. Technology One (TNE), $5.1b: Brisbane-based technology company which was founded by Adrian Di Marco who only retired as chair in 2022. Has a strong focus on local government.

93. Qube Holdings (QUB), $5b: put together by the old team which used to run Patrick Corp before it was taken over by Toll. Initially floated in 2007 as the KFM Infrastructure and Logistics Trust and then hit the big time when it bought a 50% stake in the Patrick stevedoring business when Asciano got taken over in 2016. See Wikipedia entry.

94. JB Hi Fi (JBH): $4.9b: a rare Macquarie mistake after they floated the company at $1 a share and then watched it roll out a category killer that drove the stock above $50.

95. Altium, $4.85b: a great Australian success story in the specialist space of electric circuit boards. Has Tasmanian heritage and first floated on the ASX in 1999. See Wikipedia entry.

# 96. Boral, $4.8b: now controlled by Kerry Stokes through his Seven Group Holdings which overpaid in a takeover bid during COVID.

97. Iluka Resources (ILU), $4.8b: the world's biggest and best mineral sands company which is based in Perth and has no major shareholder of note.

# 98. GQG Partners (GQG), $4.78b: a Florida head quartered fund manager which looks after more than $100b and is a strange beast to have listed on the ASX but investors stumped up $1.3 billion at $2.20 in the October 2021 float and the stock was at $1.52 in December 2023 so investors have dropped around $400 million or 30%.

99. SPDR etc, $4.77b: should ETFs really be on this list?

100. Viva Energy (VEA), $4.66b: largely comprises the downstream assets of the old Shell Australia, including its refinery at Geelong. Raised $3.058 billion at $2.50 a share in July 2018 and stock was at $3.11 in December 2023.

101. Challenger Financial Services, $4.64b: specialises in selling annuity products and has Japanese conglomerate giant Mitsubishi owns 12% and has a seat on the board. US group Apollo is the largest shareholder with 18%.

# 102. Harvey Norman (HVN), $4.6b: trades at a huge governance discount because of Gerry Harvey's cowboy behaviour. He should give someone else a go. Suffered an 81% remuneration strike in 2023 and the usual big director protest votes.

# 103. Domino's Pizza: $4.4b:
one of the great Australian success stories rolling out its successful franchise model all over the world. Billionaire chairman Jack Cowin is the largest shareholder with more than 20%.

# 104. Flight Centre (FLT), $4.37b: global travel company head quartered in Brisbane and still run by one of its founders, Graham Turner.

105. Alumina (AWC), $4.25b: spun out of WMC in the early 2000s as a post box company which owns 40% of the AWAC joint venture which is run by Alcoa. Chinese investor CITIC is the largest shareholder.

# 106. New Hope Corporation (NHC), $4.24b: Ipswich-based coal miner which is controlled by diversified conglomerate Soul Pattinson and chaired by its combative billionaire chairman Robert Millner. Battled for over a decade to win approval for its Acland mine expansion which was opposed by Alan Jones, who grew up nearby.

107. ishares ASX 200, $4.12b: should ETFs really be on this list?:

108. Fletcher Building, $4.1b: dual listed NZ construction company.

109. NIB Holdings (NHF), $4b: floated through a dodgy demutualisation in 2007 but has executed very well over the past 16 years to deliver solid shareholder returns in the health insurance market.

# 110. Brickworks (BKW), $3.9b: Australia's largest brick manufacturer and tied in with the Soul Patts empire through a cross-shareholding arrangement. Major money spinner is property development joint venture with Goodman Group.

# 111. Eagers Automotive, $3.8b: became Australia's largest car dealer when it took over rival Automotive Holdings but still only has about 10% of the market. Chairman Nick Polites is the largest shareholder.

112. Telix Pharmaceutical, $3.8b: booming Melbourne-based pharmaceutical company with a hard charging CEO and chaired by former Macquarie and Origin chair, Kevin McCann. Floated in November 2013 when it raised $50m at 65c.

113. Bank of Queensland (BOQ), $3.77b: one of the last surviving listed regional banks along with Bendigo. Bulked up when it bought ME Bank off the industry funds a couple of years back but has struggled ever since. Stock at $5.61 in December 2023 so the investors who took up a $1.35 billion raising at $7.35 in March 2021 to fund its ME Bank acquisition have done very poorly.

114. A2 Milk, $3.75b: dual listed NZ dairy company.

115. Nine Entertainment (NEC), $3.6b: floated through a big debt for equity swap when private equity firm CVC lost their shirts and later offered its shares to take over Fairfax Media.

116. Metcash (MTS), $3.6b: morphed from John David's wholesaling empire to a South African controlled outfit to the third force in retailing though IGA with no major shareholder. See company history.

117. Ansell (ANN), $3.5b: the only surviving listed element of the old Pacific Dunlop.

118. Chorus, $3.47b: dual listed NZ energy and telco utility.

# 119. Beach Energy, $3.43b: Adelaide based oil company with Kerry Stokes's Seven Group Holdings as its largest shareholder.

120. Vanguard USTMS, $3.42n: should ETFs really be in this list?

# 121. Block Inc, $3.4b. US payments company which bought Afterpay in 2021 and has regretted it ever since.

# 122. Premier Investments (PMV), $3.36b. Solly Lew's long term retail investment plaything which owns Just Jeans and Smiggle, has a big stake in Breville and is nearing control of Myer.

# 123. Netwealth Group (NWL), $3.34b. Floated by the Heine family at $3.70 a share in 2017 when it raised $264 million and has been a great success for investors with the stock at $14.94 in Decemeber 2023. The Heine family remain the controlling shareholder.

124. Betashares AHC, $3.2b. should ETFs really be in this list?

# 125. Breville Group, $3.1b. The old Housewares International which has enjoyed great success after it was effectively started and floated by Solly Lew in the 1990s. He retains a large stake to this day.

126. AUB Group, $3.1b. Successful insurance broker and under-writer which launched in 1985, has completed a number of acquisitions and has no major shareholder beyond investors such as Challenger and Green Cape Capital with about 7% each..

127. National Storage, $3.1b. internally managed REIT specialising in storage facilities with no major shareholder. Founded by Queensland solicitor Andrew Catsoulis in 1996 and has grown to more than 200 centres.

128. Champion Iron, $3.08b. Major operation is in Quebec so strange that it would be dual listed in Australia.

129. Downer EDI (DOW), $3.07b. Floated in the 1990s, no controlling shareholder and reached scale after the Spotless takeover a few years back.

130. Reliance Worldwide, $3.07b: plumbing supplies company built up by Jonathan Muntz who floated in at $2.50 a share in 2016 and had fully sold out by the end of 2019, shortly before a big profit down grade. Stock at $3.91 in December 2023 so IPO investors well in front.

131. Sims Group, $3.04b: spun out of the old Elders Resources in 1991-92 after Carter Holt Harvey bought the old NZ Forest Products as the John Elliott empire imploded.

132. Charter Hall Long WALE, $2.99b. The biggest of Charter Hall's listed managed property trusts.

133. VanguardAusSHY, $2.98b: should ETFs really be in this list?

134. AMP, $2.98b: should be a top 20 company but is wallowing after 25 years of mismanagement after it demutualised in 1998.

135. Sandfire Resources (SFR), $2.93b: has risen with the copper price and went big with a Spanish acquisition last year with the strong backing of Australian Super which is the largest shareholder with 14.7%. Stock at $6.50 in December 2023 so its $1.25 billion raising at $5.40 in 2021 to fund a $2.6 billion Spanish mine acquisition now looks okay..

136. Perpetual, $2.91b:
fended off a $1.7b indicative bid from KKR in 2010 priced at $38-$40 and then mopped up rival Pendal earlier this year. Shares still below the KKR price at $25.90 as stock pickers struggle with the rise of index funds and ETFs. Soul Pattinson lobbed a bid in late 2023.

# 137. Corporate Travel Management, $2.86b: successful Brisbane-based corporate travel provider still run by its Rich Lister founder and CEO, Jamie Pherous, who launched the business in 1994. Floated in December 2010 when it raised $21.7m at $1 a share.

138. Orora, $2.84b: demerged by Amcor in 2014 ahead of its decision to redomicile in London. No major shareholder.

139. Webjet (WEB), $2.8b: founded in 1998, backdoor listed through a mining company in 2000 and has prospered ever since although it panicked with an emergency discounted capital raising during COVID which in hindsight it could have avoided.

140. Nickel Industries: floated in 2018 when it raised $200m at 35c and stock has since soared to 91c along with the nickel price. It's main operations are in Indonesia.

# 141. Super Retail, $2.7b: retailer still controlled by founder Reg Rowe with around 25% and achieved scale with its $612m purchase of Rebel Sport in 2012 which had been privatised by Archer Capital for $369m in 2007.

142. Region Group, $2.7b: the old SCA Property which was spun out of Woolworths as a landlord of 56 sites and now owns 104 properties with Woolworths still the biggest tenant.

143. Zimplats Holdings: $2.7b: probably shouldn't be listed in Australia given its only assets is a big platinum mine in Zimbabwe. Is dual listed in South Africa.

144. CSR, $2.65b: shrunken power house but demerged enormous value into Rinker. No major shareholder.

145. Genesis Energy, $2.64b: dual listed NZ energy utility.

146. Coronado Global (CRN), $2.61b: US company which is dual listed but Australia is secondary as notice of meeting shows. It does own the Curragh coal mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin which it bought from Wesfarmers in 2017. Raised $774m when it floated 20% at $4 a share in October 2018 but the stock was at $1.77 by December 2023 so a shocker for retail investors.

147. Ventia Services (VNT): $2.6b. floated cheaply by CIMIC and private equity firm Apollo in November 2021 with the first tranche raising $438 million at $1.70. Both had fully exited the register by the end of 2023, when the stock was at $3.02, so a good experience for all concerned.

148. Tabcorp (TAH), $2.57b: floated by Victoria's Kennett Government in August 1994 and performed more corporate deals than any other surviving company over the past 29 years, none of which added much value.

149. Perseus Mining (PRU), $2.49b: Raised $3.5m in a 2004 float at 20c. Has prospered with gold projects in unfashionable Sudan, Ivory Coast and Ghana. Largest shareholders are index player Van Eck and T Rowe Price.

# 150. ARB, $2.5b: listed in 1987. Great organic Australian success story and still run by the Brown family which launched the business in 1975 and retain a 6%. Have only just surrendered chair but remain CEO.


Deterra Royalties, $2.47b: spun out of mineral sands giant Iluka Resources and hardly a real company given all of its value is wrapped up in iron ore royalties.

Abacus Property Group, $2.41b: market value has recently fallen after it spun out its storage assets into a separate vehicle.

Magellan Global Fund, $2.39b: not a real company given its just an externally managed listed investment company with excessive fees, particularly relative to ETFs. Raised $1 billion at $1.50 in September 2017 and stock was at $1.88 in December 2023.

De Grey Mining (DEG), $2.38b: raised $4.5m in July 2002 IPO priced at 20c and later prospered thanks to its 1500sq km Mallina gold project in the Pilbara.

Domain Holdings, $2.36b: majority owned by Nine Entertainment so should be treated as part of the one group.

BWP Trust, $2.36b: a passive owner of various Bunnings stores which it buys after they are developed so not a real public company, as such.

# Chalice Mining, $2.34b: raised $7.5m in a July 2006 IPO priced at 20c and then prospered after discovering palladium and nickel deposits which are being developed in WA. Founder Tim Goyder, now a billionaire, is the largest shareholder.

Paladin Energy (PDN), $2.34b: uranium miner with huge accumulated losses that has come good post-COVID with the strong uranium price.

PEXA (PXA), $2.31b: floated in 2021 at the hefty price of $17.13 when it raised $1.175 billion but stock was back to $11.95 in December 2023. The Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Fund was the outfit which dudded retail investors, as came out in these questions at the 2023 AGM. The company developed and operates the world's only fully digitized property settlement platform and is often accused of being a monopoly.

# Lovissa, $2.17b: booming global jewelery business controlled by billionaire Brett Blundy.

Chart Hall Retail REIT, $2.17b: externally managed REIT focused on retail assets in the broader Charter Hall stable.

Charter Hall Social Infrastructure (CQE), $2.16b: not really a standalone company because it is controlled and managed by property outfit Charter Hall. Initially floated at $1.15 in 2003 when it raised $21 million.

Growthpoint Properties, $2.14b: internally managed property trust with South African heritage and no major corporate shareholder.

Bapcor, $2.12b: a car parts and servicing roll-up with no substantial shareholders but some management issues after terminating its CEO in 2022. Stock was a $5.36 in December 2023

# Hub24, $2.08b: the corporate entiry first floated as Findlay Securities in 2007, then changed its name to Investorfirst in 2009 before buying the privately owned HUB24 business in 2010, 3 years after it was founded by Otto Buttula. The platform now offers advisers and their clients a range of investment options, including managed portfolio solutions.

Nufarm (NUF), $2.03b: Melbourne-based fertiliser and chemical business with a Kiwi heritage which used to have Japanese giant Sumitomo as its largest shareholder but now has Allan Gray with 11.8% followed by Aware Super with 6%.

IRESS (IRE), $2.02b: excellent provider of financial markets data which the ASX used to stalk before selling out as the major shareholder.

Pinnacle Investment Management, $1.98b: initially floated as Wilson Group in 2007 when it raised $25 million at $2 and later changed its name to Pinnacle.

Kelsian Group, $1.9b (formerly SeaLink Travel): Australia's largest listed bus operator and also has a large marine business servicing the Whitsundays, Sydney Harbour and the like. Floated in Octobert 2013 when it rasised $16.5m at $1.10 so has been a good performer with the stock now at trading near $7.

# Event & Hospitality Ltd, $1.89b: the old Amalgamated Holdings which is controlled by Allan Rydge and owns the Rydges hotel chain, plus Greater Union cinemas and a large investment portfolio through the listed Carlton Investments.

IPH Ltd (IPH), $1.86b: an international intellectual property services group which floated on the ASX in 2014 when it raised $166 million at $2.10 a share. It employs 1200 people in Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Stock was at $6.50 in December 2023.

WAM Leaders: $1.84b: a listed investment company managed by Geoff Wilson's outfit which arguably charges excessive fees.

Insignia, $1.84b: the old IOOF which bulked up when it bought both ANZ and NAB's financial advice businesses. Stock was at $2.19 in December 2023. Raised $1 billion at $3.50 in 2020 for its $1.4 billion MLC acquisition so has been a dog in recent years.

Invocare, $1.83b: the death industry giant which was later taken over by US private equity firm TPG.

Gold Road Resources, $1.79b: a tiddler made good which floated in 2006 when it raised $6 million at 20c and now has a tier 1 gold mine in WA and other exploration assets.

Lifestyle Communities, $1.77b: based in Melbourne and develops, owns and manages 26 affordable independent living residential land lease communities across Australia.

APM Human Services, $1.76b: only floated in November 2021 raising $982 million at $3.55 a share. The company provides health and human services from 1400 sites spanning 11 countries including Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, United States of America, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Singapore and South Korea. Stock has recently tanked. See account of 2023 AGM. Stock was at $1.31 in December 2023.

Star Entertainment, $1.75b: teetering casino group with properties in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Has 2 major billionaire shareholders in Bruce Mathieson and the Cheng family out of Hong Kong but there is a 10% limit on individual shareholders.

HMC Capital (MHC), $1.75b: floated in 2019 (see prospectus) when it raised $325m at $3.35 and now managing $7.5 billion of bulky goods and health care assets. Stock was at $5.47 in December 2023.

L1 Long Short Fund, $1.73b: just another listed fund, not a real company.

Waypoint REIT (WPR), $1.72b: formerly the Viva Energy REIT which floated at $2.50 a share in 2018 when $3 billion was raised. It is the owner of 402 mainly Shell branded service stations and convenience retail properties across Australia. Stock was at $2.43 in December 2023.

Graincorp (GNC), $1.72b: has its origins in NSW grain handling, listed in 1998 and remains focused on the east coast of Australia.

PSC Insurance Group, $1.7b: the insurance broker floated in December 2015 after raising $43 million at $1 and has performed well ever since with the stock at $4.81 in August 2023.

Regis Resources, $1.69b: a Perth-based gold miner with the Duketon Gold Project in the Eastern Goldfields of WA and a 30% interest in the Tropicana Gold Project located 330kms northeast of Kalgoorlie.

WAM Capital, $1.68b: one of the Geoff Wilson stable of LICs but not a real company in its own right.

Sky City Entertainment (SKC), $1.64b: gambling company run out of its Auckland Casino but at least they have an Australian presence through the Adelaide Casino.

Ingenia Communities, $1.61b: floated in 2004 when it raised $48 million at $1 and now a major owner-operator or affordable rental, lifestyle living and holiday accommodation with over 11,000 residents across a $2 billion-plus property portfolio. The Group also co-invests in communities held within its managed funds and a Joint Venture with Sun Communities.

# Adelaide Brighton (ABC), $1.6b: now controlled by the Melbourne-based Rich Lister Barro family after a creeping takeover conducted over many years. Has tanked in recent years.

MFF Capital Investments, $1.6b: just another listed fund managed by Magellan and not a real company. Raised $378m at $1 in December 2006 and stock is now at around $3.

Bellevue Gold, $1.65b: a tiddler float in 2005 when it raised $2.5m at 20c and is now working up one of the world's most promising gold deposits, the Bellevue Mine near Leinster in WA, which is due to commence production in late 2023.

Macquarie Technology, $1.58b: no controlling shareholder and has performed well in recent years providing telecommunication, cloud computing, cybersecurity and data centre services to corporate and government customers within Australia.

Magellan Financial Group (MFG), $1.57b: the head stock fund manager for various listed funds so classified as a real company offering funds management services. Co-founders Hamish Douglass and Chris Mackay became billionaires at the top before it all came crashing down. They are both largely out of it.

Capricorn Metals, $1.56b: originally floated as Malagasy Minerals in 2008 when it raised $10 million at 20c and has now developed the Karlawinda Gold Project in the Pilbara (65kms south of Newman) which commenced production in June 2021.

Costa Group, $1.53b: Australia's largest listed horticulture company which received a takeover bid from US private equity firm Paine, Driscolls and a funds management outfit which will go to the vote in early 2024.

Sayona Mining, $1.52b: at 15c, it has the lowest share price of any billion dollar company. Originally floated in 2004 when it raised $4m at 20c, but has grown to have lithium projects in Quebec and Western Australia.

# Megaport, $1.51b: the Brisbane-based company floated in 2015 when it raised $25m at $1.25 and has performed well as a leading "network as a service" internet company, even with multiple sell-downs by founder Bevan Slattery.

# Dicker Data, $1.49b: computer retailer controlled by divorced founders Dave Dicker and Fiona Brown who both still serve on the board. Floated in 2011 when it raised $1m in a compliance listing at 20c. Stock now around $11.50.

Cromwell Property Group, $1.47b: Brisbane-based property company which expanded too quickly under former CEO Paul Weightman and then had current chair Gary Weiss lead a board coup which has struggled to deliver for shareholders through the COVID years. A $700 million investment in Polish property wasn't too smart with the benefit of hindsight.

# Johns Lyng, $1.45b: a Doncaster-based construction and property servicing roll-up whose CEO is the largest shareholder.

United Malt, $1.43b: spun out of Graincorp in 2020 and was taken over by a billionaire French family.

Codan, $1.43b: an Adelaide-based company with a long history which listed in 2003 when it raised $20 million at $1.10 a share. It has performed well in recent years designing and manufacturing a range of electronic products and associated software for government, businesses and not for profits across the world.

Nanosonics, $1.43b: floated in 2007 when it raised $22 million at 50c and has flourished in recent years manufacturing and distributing the trophon EPR ultrasound probe disinfector and its associated consumables and accessories. Also does research, development and commercialization of infection control and decontamination products and related technologies.

Credit Corp, $1.42b: Australia's biggest listed debt collector company with a take no prisoners attitude when it comes to dealing with critics, including shareholders asking questions at their AGMs.

Judo Capital Holdings, $1.41b: the start-up bank focusing on SMEs floated in October 2021 when it raised $653m at $2.10 and like so many of the 2021 floats it has struggled with the stock at 87c in December 2023 after its cost of finance soared with official interest rates.

Centuria Capital, $1.38b: a listed property funds manager which invests in its associated funds whilst also drawing management fees.

# BKI Investment Company (BKI), $1.38b: part of the broader Millner family/Soul Pattinson empire so not a standalone company in its own right.

GUD Holdings (GUD), $1.37b: mainly in the car parts and servicing space and those 3 initials in its name make no sense. No major shareholder.

McMillan Shakespeare (MMS), $1.36b: floated in 2004 when it raised $10.5m at 50c and has prospered providing services of salary packaging, novated leasing and fleet & asset management and related financial products and services in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Audinate (AD8), $1.35b: booming audio visual company with Japanese company Yamaha and Aussie Super as substantial holders. Floated in June 2017 when it raised $21m at $1.22 and finished 2023 with the stock at $16 and a market cap of $1.35 billion.

# Objective Corporation (OCL), $1.33b: listed software firm which founder and majority shareholder Tony Walls started in Port Kembla in 1987. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.21 billion.

Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure (DBI), $1.32b: a big coal export port in Queensland which was privatised by the Labor Government and is chaired by David Hammill, a former Queensland Labor Treasurer. Was floated in December 2020 after raising $1.286 billion at $2.57 a share. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.33 billion and the stock at $2.75 so investors are barely in front.

Ramelius Resources (RMS), $1.3b: floated in 2003 when it raised $6 million at 20c and has grown to now operate the Mt Magnet, Edna May, Vivien, Marda, Tampia and Penny gold mines, and the recently acquired Rebecca Gold Project, all of which are in WA. Mt Magnet represents most of the value. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.96 billion.

Core Lithium, $1.23b (CXO): floated in 2011 when it raised $5 million at 20c and peaked at $1.88 in 2021 before falling back to 66c in July 2023. Building the Finniss lithium project 88km from Darwin. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $545 million.

Arena REIT (ARF), $1.27b: an internally managed property developer and manager which was floated in 2013 when it raised $75 million at $1.01 and has performed well ever since. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.32 billion.

Latitude Group (LFS), $1.23b: floated by KKR at $2.60 a share in April 2021 when it raised $200 million. Has performed poorly for investors with stock at $1.16 in December 2023. Ahmed Fahour was CEO until April last year when the cyber-crime event happened. KKR retain 84% and Shinsei Bank has 15% so it barely meets 20% free float requirement. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.21 billion.

Australia United Investments (AUI), $1.23b: just a passive LIC controlled by the Potter foundation through its long standing chair Charles Goode. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.26 billion.

Monadelphous (MND), $1.21b: Perth-based company which specialises on big construction jobs related to the oil and gas industry. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.44 billion.

SiteMinder (SDR), $1.18b: a big float in November 2021 when it raised $627m at $5.06 but stock was back at around $4.20 in July 2023. It has developed the world's leading open hotel commerce platform, and is used by tens of thousands of hotels in 150 countries. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.41 billion.

Collins Foods (CKF), $1.17b: floated in August 2011 when it raised $201 million at $2.50 a share and apart from Domino's, is the only major fast food company listed on the ASX. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.4 billion and a share price at $12.30 so a good stock to back.

# Redox (RDX), $1.17b: floated at $2.55 a share in 2023 with the founding family retaining a majority stake. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.23 billion.

# Liberty Financial Group (LFG), $1.16b: long-standing non-bank lender which is still controlled by founder Sherman Ma. Raised $320m at $6 in late 2020 IPO. Finished 2023 with stock at $4.05 and a market cap of $1.23 billion.

Data#3 (DTL), $1.14b: Brisbane-based software and services company with no major corporate shareholder. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.3 billion.

NRW Holdings (NWH), $1.13b: Perth-based contract mining and services company which floated in 2007 when it raised $303 million at $2 a share and has ridden the swings of the industry but not performed that well overall. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.35 billion and the stock at around $2.85.

Mesoblast (MSB), $1.13b: raised $21m at 50c in a December 2004 IPO, but the biopharma company has done many capital raisings without really delivering over the years. Finished 2023 with stock at 31c and a market cap of $310 million after burning more than $500 million.

Elders (MSB), $1.12b: agricultural services giant which almost went broke under the weight of its timber plantations losses but has powered back in recent years. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.2 billion.

Silver Lake Resources (SLR), $1.1b: the Perth-based company was floated in 2007 when it raised $30 million at 30c and these days it has two operating copper-gold mines in WA. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.14 billion.

Helia Group (HLI), $1.1b: the mortgage insurer was originally floated as Genworth Australia by its US parent in 2014 when it raised $754 million at $2.90, then changed its name to Helia Group when the parent severed all ties. Only marginally above the float price. Stock was at $4.22 in December 2023 so float investors have done well. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.3 billion.

Polynovo (PNV), $1.09b: medical company which has developed a remedy for burns system and is led by big-talking chairman David Williams. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.15 billion.

Smart Group, $1.07b: floated in 2014 when it raised $113 million at $1.60 and has performed well ever since in the salary packaging and administration services space. Finished 2023 with a market cap of ???? billion.

Diversified United Investments (DUI), $1.07b: just a passive LIC controlled by the Potter foundation through its long standing chair Charles Goode. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.09 billion.

Inghams (ING), $1.03b: Australia's biggest chicken producer which went from being owned by the Rich Lister brothers to private equity and then public markets via a $1.12 billion float at $3.15 a share in 2016. Stock was at $3.90 by December 2023. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.47 billion.

Boss Energy (BOE), $1.03b: a tiddler 2007 float which raised $3.5m at 20c and the market cap pushed through $1 billion in 2023 on hopes it will be able to develop its Honeymoon uranium deposit in South Australia. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.64 billion.

Hansen Technology (HSN), $1.02b: a successful technology company with global operations based on billing systems. Was based in Doncaster for many years before recently moving its head office to the Melbourne CBD. Finished 2023 with a market cap of $1.2 billion.