Tracking the ASX takeover deluge since 2019

February 16, 2024

The ASX is thinning out noticeably with the biggest drought of IPOs in a decade and one of the biggest runs of takeovers we've even since. Below is the full list of 42 takeovers of current or former ASX300 companies since 2019.

2024 - 1 completed, 8 in train

A2B Corp (25 years, 1999-2024): the old Cabcharge was founded by Reg Kermode in 1976 and floated in 1999. Was renamed A2B Corporation in 2018 and then taken private by Singaporean company ComfortDelGro in 2024 for the equivalent of $2.30 per share or $182 million, by which time the business had shrunk to a fraction of its former glory. The announcement predicted the scheme meeting would be in late March.

Adbri (ABC): Irish concrete giant CRH has teamed up with controlling shareholder Barro Group to lodge a $3.20 a share bid which is being supported by the independent directors.

Altium (ALU): (25 years, 1999-2024) After floating as Protel International at $2 a share in August 1999 when 38% of the business was sold for $46.5 million, the electronics software maker reached agreement on February 14, 2024 for Japanese company Renesas to acquire the company at $68.50 a share or $9.1 billion in cash. No date has been set for the scheme meeting. See scheme implementation agreement.

Azure (AZS): the Perth-based lithium company is being bought by Gina Rinehart and Chilean giant SQM in a joint $1.7 billion cash offer priced at $3.70 a share.

Boart Longyear (2007-2024): The scheme meeting will take place on February 21 at 10am.

Link Group, (9 years, 2015-2024) Japanese giant Mitsubishi agreed to pay $2.16 per share or $2.1 billion in enterprise terms after years of poor performance, much of which was associated with its UK division. The share registry and investor services business was floated at $6.37 per share in October 2015. However, when you add back the performance of PEXA, which was spun off in 2021, the performance wasn't as bad. Scheme meeting is slated for some time in May 2024.

Pact Group (PGH) (11 years: 20013-2024): after raising $648 million from public investors at $3.80 a share in 2013, the billionaire founder Raphael Geminder is privatising it with an 84c a share offer that will cost him about $145 million.

Silver Lake Resources (SLR) (17 years, 2007-2024): raised $30 million in a 2007 float priced at 30c and was set to be acquired by fellow goldminer Red 5 in an all-scrip "merger of equals" in early 2024 which valued the 934m shares on issue at $1.12 billion the day after it was announced.

2024 - 1 completed

Costa Group (9 years, 2015-2024): floated by the Costa family and its private equity partner Paine in 2015 and then Paine returned to privatise the business with a $1.6 billion bid in July 2023, supported by Driscoll and one other player. The scheme meeting approving the deal was held on January 30, 2024.

2023 - 9 completed

Blackmores, (38 years, 1985-2023): founded in 1938 by Maurice Blackmore, listed in 1985 and then taken over by Japanese giant Kirin after a $1.9 billion takeover bid which completed in July 2023.

Estia Health (9 years, 2014-2023): originally floated in 2014 when it raised $725 million at $5.25 a share in a Quadrant driven private equity roll-up and flip. After woeful performance, it was then privatised by private equity firm Bain on December 15 2023 in a deal which valued the equity at $3.20 a share or $828 million. Its market cap peaked at $1.4 billion in 2015-16 when the shares topped $7 but then crashed during COVID so this was a dud for public investors who endured the full 9 year public journey.

Invocare, (20 years, 2003-2023): the death industry giant has agreed to a takeover by private equity firm TPG with a shareholder vote due later this year. It was floated in 2003 at $1.85 a share raising $186 million for the equity.

Mincor Resources (1997-2023): listed in 1997 as AfricWest Gold before later pivoting to nickel. Twiggy Forrest privatised the nickel miner in July 2023, paying $1.40 a share or $760 million in cash.

Newcrest Mining: 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 which completed on November 6, 2023.

OZ Minerals, (15 years, 2008-2023): was created from the 2007 merger of Oxiana Resources and Zinifex but then almost collapsed after the GFC when most of its assets were sold to CCP-controlled entities. Was left with the fabulous Prominent Hill copper gold mine which BHP bought for almost $10 billion when it paid $28.50 a share for the company in 2023.

Pendal, (16 years, 2007-2023): initially partially floated by Westpac as BT Investment Management in 2007, then after the bank fully exited it changed its name and was taken over by rival Perpetual in a $2.4 billion deal after a lengthy battle which finally settled in January 2023.

Slater and Gordon, (16 years, 2007-2023): never officially collapsed as was rescued in a scheme of arrangement but the final full year result was a $546.8 million loss in 2016-17 and this followed a $1.017 billion loss in 2015-16. Did a massive debt for equity swap to stay listed before Allegro privatised it in 2023.

United Malt, (3 years, 2020-2023): was spun out of Graincorp in 2020 but then snapped up by Soufflet Group, a private French company controlled by the Soufflet family when it offered $5 a share or $1.5 billion in July 2023.

2022 - 7

Ausnet Services, (17 years, 2005-2022): originally floated as SP Ausnet by Singapore Power in 2005 when it raised $1.6 billion at $1.38 after aggregating some privatised gas and electricity utilities. Changed its name to Ausnet after the Singaporeans sold a 20% stake to the Chinese Government's State Grid and was then taken private by Brookfield in February 2022 in a deal which valued the business at more than $15 billion, including debt.

Coca Cola Amatil, (49 years, 1972-2021): taken over by sister company Coca Cola Enterprises in May 2021 with an offer of $13.50 a share which valued the business at $9.8 billion.

Crown Resorts/PBL, (30 years, 1992-2022): effectively started with Kerry Packer's 1992 IPO of ACP Magazines which was then merged with Nine, which in turn was the rebranded Bond Media. Privatised by private equity giant Blackstone in June 2022 for about $9 billion.

Leighton-CIMIC, 2022: was controlled by German giant Hochtief for decades as Wal King built it into an Australian giant, then Spanish rival ACS bought Hochtief and later fully privatised the renamed CIMIC in 2022.

Sydney Airport, (20 years, 2002-2022): floated by Macquarie in the early 2000s as Macquarie Airports then sold off everything except Sydney Airport which was privatised by a group of industry funds and international investors for more than $20 billion with an $8.75 a share bid in 2022.

Uniti Group, (3 years, 2019-2022): only floated in 2019 with an $18m raising at 25, the undertook a blizzard of takeovers the broadband networks owner fell to a consortium led by New Zealand's Morrison & Co and Canada's Brookfield Asset Management after they offered $3.6 billion or $5 a share in 2022.

Western Areas, (22 years, 2000-2022: floated at 20c in 2000 after $5m raising and was eventually taken over by nickel-lithium outfit IGO after protracted negotiations in a deal that valued the company at $1.3 billion. Just been blasted by The AFR's Chanticleer for writing the investment down by $700m.

2021 - 8

Afterpay, 2021: Block Inc, the US payments company founded by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey (which used to be called Square), bought Afterpay in 2021 offering 18% of its own expanded share capital, although some analysts value the Afterpay business at zero.

ALE Property Group, 2021: the pubs landlord was privatised in December 2021 after a joint bid by Charter Hall and industry fund HostPlus priced at $5.88 a share.

Bingo, (4 years, 2017-2021): floated by the founding Tartak family at $1.80 a share in 2017 and then privatised by a Macquarie fund in 2021 which paid $2.3 billion or $3.45 a share.

Galaxy Resources, (15 years, 2006-2021): taken over by lithium rival Orocobre in a $4 billion all scrip deal in 2021 although it was a more a merger of equals with Galaxy shareholders finishing up with 45.8% of the new entity which trades as Allkem. Stock has since soared to a $10.5b market cap with Toyota as the only substantial shareholder with a 6.16% stake. Galaxy Resources was first floated in 2006 after raising $3m at 20c.

Milton, (63 years, 1958-2021): mopped up by Soul Pattinson through an over the top all scrip $4 billion offer in 2021 which took out 29,000 shareholders.

Spark Infrastructure, (16 years, 2005-2021): floated in 2005 when the Chinese purchasers of privatisated state utility asset raised $1.81 billion at $2 a share. Was then privatised in December 2021 by private equity firm KKR and the Ontario Teachers fund with an offer pitched at $2.95 a share.

Tassal, (18 years, 2003-2021): floated at 50c a share in 2003 when it raised $31 million and eventually bought by Canadian fish giant Cooke Inc which paid $1.1 billon for Tasmanian-based salmon giant in 2021.

Vocus Communications, (22 years, 1999-2021): raised $20m at $1 a share when it listed in 1999 and then the telco was privatised by Macquarie and Aware Super after they lobbed an offer priced at $5.50 a share in 2021 which valued the business at $3.5 billion.

2020 - 4

Infigen Energy, (15 years, 2005-2020): the old Babcock and Brown Wind was floated in 2005, changed its name to Infigen in 2009 and then bought by Spain's Iberdrola for $841 million in 2020 but it had traded higher.

Nearmap, (22 years, 2000-2022): floated in 2000 after raising $10m at 25c and then US private equity firm Thomas Bravo paid $2.10 a share or $1.05 billion, which at the time was nearly double the prevailing share price.

Oil Search, 2021: completed a $21 billion all-scrip merger with Santos in 2021 in which Oil Search shareholders finished up with 38.5% of the business. Three Oil Search directors joined the Santos board - Eileen Doyle, Musje Werror and Michael Utsler - whilst Susan Cunningham, Fiona Harris, Bakheet Al Katheeri, Kostas Constantinou and chairman Rick Lee all departed.

Village Roadshow, 2020: privatised by private equity firm BGH in 2020 after previously trading at much higher prices.

2019 - 6

Aveo, (25 years, 1998-2019): Canadian giant Brookfield plucked the large residential aged care business off the ASX boards in 2019 for a $2 billion enterprise valuation or a $1.3 billion equity value, swooping in with a 28 per cent premium at a time when its target was caving under regulatory scrutiny. It then refinanced a $1.45 billion debt in July 2023. It was previously known as FKP, a Gold Coast-focused property developer which was born in 1998 in the merger of Peter Kurts Properties, founded by the late Peter Kurts in 1964, with Forrester Parker Group, run by Rod Forrester and Phil Parker.

Bellamy's, (5 years, 2014-2019): Chinese firm Mengnui bid $13.25 a share in 2019 for the Tasmanian-based powdered milk company, valuing the business at $1.5 billion.

Dulux, (9 years, 2010-2019): was demerged by Orica in July 2010 and then 9 years later was acquired by Nippon Paint for $4.2 billion.

Healthscope, (5 years, 2014-2019): after being floated by private equity firms TPG and Carlyle in July 2014 raising $2.57 billion at $2.29, the private hospital operator was bought by Canadian giant Brookfield in 2019 for $4.4 billion after winning a takeover bidding war against rival private equity firm BGH which had teamed up with Australian Super.

MYOB, (4 years, 2015-2019): has been floated and privatised twice, the second time in 2019 when private equity giant KKR paid $2 billion, just 4 years after private equity firm Bain floated 39% of the business at $3.65 a share in 2015, raising $833 million.

Navitas, (15 years, 2004-2019): the private education provider was privatised by Melbourne-based private equity firm BGH in a $2.1 billion deal in 2019.

Trade Me, (8 years, 2011-2019): the ebay of New Zealand was floated off by Fairfax in December 2011 at $NZ2.70 a share and then acquired by Apax Partners for $NZ6.45 a share in early 2019.