Listed companies to be shielded from activists; David Jones appoints firm to assess merger: Midday Roundup

ASX-listed companies will no longer have to respond to the request of small groups of shareholders to hold costly general meetings, under changes expected to be introduced by the Coalition government on Wednesday.

According to The Australian Financial Review,the government will change the legislation which allows groups of 100 or more shareholders to call for a company general meeting, which can cost businesses up to $1 million.

The changes are part of the Coalition’s first red tape repeal day for the year, which could see up to 8000 regulations simplified or removed.

Under the new changes, a business will only have to hold a general meeting if it’s asked for by shareholders with a combined stake of 5% in the company, according to the AFR.

David Jones appoints firm to assess merger

David Jones has announced it has re-appointed management consulting firm Port Jackson Partners as its strategic adviser in reviewing the value of synergies if it were to merge with rival Myer.

The firm will also assess the value that can be derived for shareholders if David Jones continues with the implementation of its Future Strategic Direction Plan on a stand-alone basis.

The department store said that the Myer merger proposal is premised on a share swap, so if discussions between parties progress to the next stage, an assessment will be undertaken of Myer’s business as part of due diligence.

“Once this work is completed we will be in a position to engage in a meaningful way with Myer,” David Jones chairman Gordon Cairns said.

David Jones also announced that non-executive director of the board, Leigh Clapham, has resigned today.

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have opened higher, following a bumper day on Wall Street.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 34.6 points to 5352.2 at 12:12pm AEDT. Overnight the Dow Jones closed 181.55 points higher, up 1.13% to 16,247.22.


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