THE NEWS WRAP: Billabong accused of ‘ignoring’ rival offer

US hedge funds Centerbridge Partners and Oaktree Capital have accused Billabong of ignoring their rival debt-for-equity bid for the troubled surfwear giant, which they claim would have seen existing shareholders emerge with less debt and more equity.

 

“Centerbridge and Oaktree are very credible, interested parties, and to not even have a discussion with them when they’ve flown in from the US was astonishing,” a source for the consortium told The Australian.

 

Billabong chairman Ian Pollard rejects the accusation.

 

“We gave [Centerbridge and Oaktree] ample opportunity to provide some indication, at the very least, of what their terms might be, but they indicated they couldn’t put up a proposal until they had done due diligence. So we executed the only executable transaction we had,” Pollard says.

 

Telstra threatens to sue Vodafone over 4G speed claims

 

Telstra is threatening to sue Vodafone over claims its 4G network is the fastest in Australia and that its coverage now reaches 96% of the Australian population, claims the incumbent telecommunications giant alleges are untrue.

 

“Telstra is confident of the claims that we make about our network. This type of action is not uncommon,” a Telstra spokesperson says.

 

“Vodafone customers in 4G areas with compatible devices will have access to speeds that are among the fastest not only in the country but in many parts of the world,” Vodafone chief executive Bill Morrow said last month.

 

Queensland government considering second Brisbane casino

 

Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has stated the question of a second Brisbane casino is an essential one for the state government, but it has not finalised a decision on whether or not Brisbane should be a one or two casino town.

 

The news comes as both James Packer-led gaming giant Crown and Sydney casino operator Echo intensify their campaigns over a second Brisbane casino.

 

“The casino operators have no need to be taking shots at each other in the public, in the media as we have seen,” Seeney says.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.12% to 15470.52. The Aussie dollar is up to US92.42 cents.

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