AFR reporter Brett Clegg was undoubtedly a valuable worker at the Millionaire Factory when he joined three years ago. However, he’s proving to be even more valuable since returning to Australia’s financial daily if today’s back page commentary is any guide.

Clegg has been given a thorough briefing on the forthcoming float of Salt Lake City-based mining services and drill rigs company Boart Longyear and was used by the Millionaire Factory to soften up the market in readiness for paying a huge premium.

The AFR’s back page is Australia’s most lucrative journalistic real estate so Clegg’s old employer would be delighted when the following appeared this morning:

Expectations of a raising of $1.5 billion are too low and the size is set to top $2 billion with a total market capitalisation of at least $2.7 billion – quite possibly more than $3 billion.

Macquarie and its private equity partners bought Boart from South African conglomerate Anglo American for just $US545 million in July 2005. The Boart IPO is starting to look like it might be Macquarie’s Looksmart of the resources boom – massively over-priced in a bubble environment but hugely profitable all the same.

It might also surpass the estimated $260 million clear profit that Macquarie made from the Dyno Nobel purchase and float in 2005-06.

Both Dyno and Boart are great deals for Australia because they transplant a foreign-based company onto the Australian stock market and earn the nation huge profits along the way courtesy of the sharp suits at Macquarie.

The banks gets to clip the ticket every which way in the process and with Clegg’s Boart numbers in the market, it shouldn’t surprise that Macquarie shares are up another 77 cents to a record $84.41 this morning.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey