SPC Ardmona in crisis talks; James Packer’s private company posts $181.4 million profit: Midday Roundup

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine is holding crisis talks in Shepparton today after the federal government rejected a plea to bail out SPC Ardmona.

The fruit processor had sought $25 million from the federal government to upgrade its product development facilities, in addition to $25 million from the Victorian government and another $150 million from parent company Coca-Cola Amatil.

Yesterday, Liberal MP Sharman Stone told SmartCompanyup to 4000 jobs in the region relied on SPC staying afloat. “[It’ll] have a larger impact on the northern Victorian economy than the Holden decision had on Adelaide,” she said.

However, after a three-hour cabinet meeting, the government rejected a call to bail out the company, which Prime Minister Tony Abbott described as an “important marker” to his government’s approach to such issues.

“This is a government that will make sure that the restructuring that some Australian businesses need, some Australian sectors need, is led by business, as it should be,” Abbott said.

James Packer’s private company posts $181.4 million profit

Consolidated Press Holdings, the private company of Rich Lister and Crown chairman James Packer, has posted a net profit of $181.4 million, of which $119.5 million were paid in dividends. This follows the company’s $179.3 million profit last year.

The figures come from the company’s private accounts, which were obtained by The Australian. CPH has shares in listed casino group Crown, jobs group SEEK, and Magellan Financial Group.

Packer does not draw a salary from his position at Crown, an approach to corporate governance he adopted from his father, and so the dividends from CPH are his main source of income.

CPH executive director Michael Johnston told The Australian the group was entering a period of consolidation.

“In the year ahead it will be steady as she goes,” he said.

Shares steady on open

Aussie shares have opened flat this morning, despite a strong lead from Wall Street, following days of volatile trading.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was up 2.9 points to 5191 at 11:51am AEDT. Overnight the Dow Jones was up 109.82 points, lifting 0.70% to 15,848.61.

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