Doing Business in Australia - 2nd July 2015

In the media

Agriculture

Perich kicks off dairy wars – The Australian [23.06.2015]

Freedom Foods, majority-owned by the billionaire Perich family, has moved to increase its foothold in the Australian dairy industry. Freedom has made an indicative, non-binding and conditional bid with a view to undertaking due diligence on listed milk company, a2 Milk. It is expected that Chinese company New Hope Dairy will be involved in the deal. This is considered unsurprising due to New Hope’s recent partnership with the Perich family’s Leppington Pastoral Company, Freedom and Moxey Farms, who currently supplies milk to a2, in a consortium called Australian Fresh Milk Holdings. Several other international players are also reportedly interested in partnering with Freedom.

Financial Services

Pockets full of dollars: M&A rise for Japan – AFR [16.06.2015]

With the value of deals topping $US50bn to date, corporate Japan has become a major player in global mergers and acquisitions. The CEO of ANZ Bank’s Japanese operations predicts that this involvement will grow as Japan’s financial service providers seek further opportunities for growth in Australia. This interest is not reciprocated however, with few Australian companies seeking acquisition opportunities in Japan.

Ports

Canada’s Brookfield eyes Asciano’s Patrick division – AFR [16.06.2015]

Several global players have expressed interest in taking a minority stake in Asciano’s Patrick container ports division. Asciano, who handles nearly half of container imports coming into Australia, is looking to extend its ports operation globally. They were also in talks with Chinese state-owned, China Merchant, however there is still no sign of a confirmed deal. Other interested parties include Canada’s largest alternative asset manager, Brookfield Asset Management, ICTSI, Hutchinson Ports Australia and Qube Holdings.

Acquisition and Investment Opportunities

  • Private Australian company: Oil and gas services/offers over $1.2 million
  • Private Australian company: IT and telecommunications services/offers over $4 million
  • Oil and gas services international branch looking for a Western Australian based business to acquire

Recent Events

In focus – International Trademark Association Conference in San Diego, USA

Noelene Treloar recently attended the International Trade Marks Association conference held from 2–6 May in San Diego. Close to 10,000 IP professionals and services providers registered for the conference, and Noelene was actively involved in trying to meet them all!

In particular, Noelene met with many of our established international IP associates, as well as taking the opportunity to make contact with new associates.

From the conference, key developments in the area of international IP practice discussed included:

  • The increased activity of cybersquatters/unauthorised domain name holders and their unauthorised leveraging of genuine brand reputation, including through counterfeit goods and scam operations;
  • The registration of trade marks by unauthorised parties – particularly in China;
  • The need for law firms and in-house counsel to work together to streamline fees, approaches, etc.; and
  • The need for Trade Mark attorneys, IP lawyers, etc. to take a holistic approach to brands and become ‘brand ambassadors’. It is not just about the registration of a trade mark.

Mills Oakley looks forward to working with its local and international clients to further enhance relationships and maximise the protection of valuable IP rights.

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M&A/Corporate Advisory

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