Macquarie Bank might be flying into a stiff headwind over Qantas and suffering the ignominy of missing out on the $13 billion Alinta chase, but the rise and rise of the Millionaire Factory continues at a staggering pace nonetheless.

Take the past 48 hours as an example with these three new deals were unveiled to the market:

  • Macquarie and PBL buy nine Canadian casinos for $1.45 billion in a 50-50 joint venture.
  • A 58% owned subsidiary of Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group (MCIG), which in turn is 19% owned by the bank, splurges $6.07 billion buying National Grid’s British mobile phone, television towers and digital TV spectrum.
  • Macquarie Bank to take a 5-15% stake in Coles supermarkets business as part of Wesfarmers consortium.

The casino announcement talks about Macquarie Bank controlling $176 billion in assets world wide, but with another $6.2 billion stacked on in the UK yesterday, the empire will soon surely exceed $200 billion.

Macquarie paid $93 million for a 17% stake in Boart last September, yet just six months later the Millionaire Factory got the float away raising a staggering $2.35 billion. Macquarie has retained a 2% stake worth $47 million and walked away with a quickfire profit of about $350 million. Thanks for coming.

As usual, they’ve pushed the envelope on pricing and left nothing on the table for the aftermarket. I was stupid enough to buy the usual $500 worth of Boart share at $1.875 this morning, but they quickly fell below the $1.85 float price to a low of $1.825 as about 100 million share changed hands in the first hour of trade.

The major institutional shareholders revealed this morning — HSBC, St George Bank, Suncorp and UBS — can’t be too happy about that. Sounds like another Dyno-Nobel.

Still, you’ve to hand it to them. A deal flow of billions by the day must be an extraordinary juggling act.

Let’s hope they all have a good rest over Easter because corporate Australia has never seen anything like this before and it’s generating truckloads of wealth for the nation.

Peter Fray

Help us keep up the fight

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and support our journalists’ important work of uncovering the hypocrisies that infest our corridors of power.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today and get your first 12 weeks for $12.

Cancel anytime.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW