Billabong shares placed in trading halt: Midday roundup

Billabong shares have been placed in a trading halt ahead of an expected release to the market, the company announced this morning.

The announcement will concern current takeover discussions with the Sycamore consortium.

“The trading halt is necessary so that the company can continue negotiations whilst ensuring that the market does not trade on an uninformed basis,” the group said.

The announcement comes after a rocky history. Last month, Billabong said it would give Sycamore 10 days of exclusive talks regarding the group’s proposal to acquire 100% of the company, for 60 cents a share.

Billabong has previously said there is no guarantee of a takeover occurring even after discussions take place.

Construction sector contracts for 35th consecutive month

Australia’s construction sector has hit a seven-month low in April, marking the 35th month of consecutive contraction for the industry which has been struggling against a lack of demand for residential and commercial construction.

New research released this morning by the Australian Industry Group and the Housing Industry Association show the sector slipped 3.8 points in April to 35.2 on the construction index, with readings below 50 representing a contraction in the industry.

Construction activity was weaker again at 34.7 points on the index and employment in the industry fell 9.4 points to 29.8, the worst reading in the seven and a half years since the survey began.

Shares flat on weak offshore lead

The Australian sharemarket has opened flat this morning following a modest offshore lead, despite a positive result from yesterday’s trading day.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 28.3 points or 0.6% to 5,127.9 at 11.50 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 5.1 points to 14,968.9.

Perpetual to acquire The Trust

Perpetual has said in a statement it will acquire The Trust Company, in a deal which will see the business pay out Trust shareholders 0.1495 shares for each Trust share.

“A combination of Perpetual and The Trust Company not only creates significant value for shareholders of both companies but will also provide substantial benefits for clients and staff of the combined group,” chairman Bruce Corlett said in a statement.



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