Industrial services giant Brambles has leapt at
the opportunity presented by a booming share market hungry for large
asset sales to auction off its least profitable businesses, abandon its
dual-listed structure and spend up to $2.8 billion to buy back its
shares, reports The Australian. The Australian and British-listed group will sell its worldwide
Cleanaway waste collection and industrial services operations as well
as its regional businesses, leaving just CHEP pallets and document
manager Recall. It’s one of the largest garage sales in
history, says Elizabeth Knight in The SMH,
and represents more than 46 per cent of its total sales and
28 per cent of its profits. It’s a redefining moment for

But it’s also been a long time coming, particularly the abandonment of its dual-listed company structure, says Bryan Frith in The Oz. It’s long been apparent to Brambles and its
advisers that the structure has
not been well received by the market. Brambles would no doubt put it
differently, but the abandonment of the structure is an implicit
admission of its failure. And that Brambles chairman Don Argus has given notice that he will unwind
the dual-listed structure, the question now is just
how long it will take for him to do likewise at BHP Billiton, says John
Durie in the Fin Review. The folk at BHP appear in no rush to
get rid of their dual-listed structure, which isn’t top of mind in a
secular resources bull market; but if there are costs involved maybe
they should be.

The AFR also reports that Telstra may not be forced to provide
its competitor with immediate access to its proposed $3 billion
fibre-optic broadband network, according to Communications Minister
Helen Coonan. Telstra’s smaller rivals are concerned that without
access to the network – which will provide high-speed broadband
connections – they would be forced build costly new infrastructure to
provide the same service to their customers.

And The Age reports that Toll has offered to sell ships, abandon the vehicle
freight market and loosen its hold over east-west rail to win
competition approval for its $4.6 billion bid for Patrick

On Wall Street, US stocks ended slightly lower overnight after a
raft of upbeat economic data offered only a temporary boost to the
market. The Dow Jones fell 2.56 points to 10,888 – MarketWatch has a full report here.