Shareholders in transport and logistics group Toll Holdings and
those of its hostile takeover target, Patrick Corporation, are
being done no favours by the public brawl between the two, says Elizabeth Knight in The SMH. Truth
has been the first casualty in this war that has put vested
interests ahead of both shareholder groups. As expected, Patrick’s Chris Corrigan came
out swinging yesterday, but failed to deliver a knockout blow to Toll
Holdings’s $5 billion takeover bid, says Bryan Frith in The Australian.

Like any good fighter, Corrigan attacked and defended. Patrick upgraded its full-year profit
guidance and forecast annual earnings growth of 22%, in a
target statement that values its shares as much as 26% higher
than Toll’s hostile takeover offer, reports The Australian.

The encroachment of the internet
into broadcasting – signalled by Apple Computer’s deal with
Walt Disney to sell TV episodes through its iTunes Music Store – is changing the atmospherics around the media
reform debate in Australia as it approaches its climax, says Alan Kohler in The Smage. That’s because it rather seems that the traditional media
businesses are being eaten alive by ants even as they bleat for
more protection from lions and tigers.

The Agereports that the record slice of economic prosperity enjoyed by Australian
companies could be set to expand if the Government’s controversial
industrial relations overhaul tamps down wages, according to economists. The latest ABS figures show that
company profits reached a record 27.4% of gross domestic
product in the June quarter this year, up from just 22.6%
in the mid-1990s, while workers’ share of the economy has shrunk –
the wage share was at a near record low of 53.2%.

Also in The Age, the battle for the 105-year-old Myer department
store chain has intensified with up to 20 companies now expected to sign formal
expressions of interest.

And The Fin Review reports that US Federal Reserve chairman Alan
Greenspan has conceded that rising oil prices would hurt global
economic growth, but failed to allay market fears of US interest rate
rise in the months ahead.

On Wall Street, US stocks ended lower overnight after the biggest
monthly rise in producer prices in 31 years fuelled inflation and
interest rates fears, taking the shine off a number of solid earnings
reports led by IBM. The Dow Jones ended down 62.84 points at 10,285 – MarketWatch has a full report here.

Peter Fray

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