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Wednesday, 11 April 1973
Page: 1365


Mr Garland asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   Has the machinery which was set tip to implement, on an interim basis, the measures for the control of foreign take-overs, announced by the 'ben Prime Minister on 26th September 1972 and in respect of which interim legislation was passed by the Parliament in 1972, continued in operation.

(2)   If not, what is the present machinery and how does it operate.

(3)   How does the Government become aware that a foreign take-over is contemplated or in the course of being carried out.

(4)   What foreign take-overs has the Government become aware of since 5th December 1972, and on what date did it become aware of each.

(5)   Has each of these take-overs been considered.

(6)   On which of them has no conclusion been reached.

(7)   What foreign take-overs have been approved by the Government and on what date in each case.

(8)   Who gave the final approval and what was the reason for the approval in each case.

(9)   ls there a body which makes a recommendation and does the Minister ratify that recommendation.

(10)   If so, has he yet made any amendment to a recommendation.

(11)   If he has made an amendment to a recommendation, what was the amendment and on what date was it made.


Mr Crean - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   See (1).

(3)   The Government becomes aware of foreign take-over proposals through notifications received from the parties to the take-overs, information available to Government departments or agencies, published information and information supplied by interested persons.

(4)   , (5), (6) and (7) lt would not be appropriate to provide the names of the companies involved in all take-over proposals because in some cases the information is provided in confidence by the private parties concerned.

Between 5th December 1972 and 9th March 1973, in the administration of the Companies (Foreign Take-overs) Act 67 take-over proposals came under notice.

During the same period, the preliminary examination of 63 take-over proposals was completed, including some proposals which had been notified before 5th December 1972. Of these, the Government indicated that it had no indication to 49 proposals. These proposals included a number which were found on examination not to lead to loss of Australian control and a number which related to take-overs of companies with assets of less than $lm and not involving special considerations. Proposals involving listed companies to which no objections were raised were as follows:

(i)   Metro Industries Ltd by The Crown Agents;

(ii)   International Oils Exploration N.L. by Union Oil Development Corp.;

(iii)   City Financial and General Investment Co. Ltd by Vavasseur Pacific Ltd;

(iv)   Investment and Merchant Finance Corp. Ltd by The Royal Bank of Canada and the National Bank of Detroit;

(v)   Carpet Manufacturers Ltd by Kinnears Ropes (Aust.) Ltd;

(vi)   Kay's Motor Maintenance Pty Ltd by Associated Securities Ltd;

(vii)   French Perfumery International Ltd by Juvena Holding Ltd

In the other 14 cases the preliminary examination of which was completed, the Government decided that they should be deferred for further consideration and interim orders were issued for that purpose. The interim orders which were published at the time the decisions were taken, related to acquisitions of shares in the following companies:

(i)   M.B. John and Hattersley Ltd by PeglerHattersley Ltd;

(ii)   K.D.H. Pty Ltd by M.E.P.C. Australia Ltd;

(iii)   Samuel Seymour Investments Pty Ltd by Security Mills Pty Ltd;

(iv)   The Trevor Group of Companies by Babcock Australia Holdings Ltd;

(v)   Baillieu Bowring Holdings Pty Ltd by C. T. Bowring (Australia) Pty Ltd;

(vi)   Warne Insurance Services Pty Ltd by R. B. Jones (Australia) Ltd;

(vii)   The Brickhouse Co. Pty Ltd by Westlyn Investments Ltd;

(viii)   Buchanan Borehole Collieries Pty Ltd by Mitsui & Co. (Australia) Ltd;

(ix)   Muswellbrook Industries Ltd by Industrial Equity Ltd;

(x)   Australian National Hotels Ltd by Messrs Ho and Fung;

(xi)   Minerals Mining and Metallurgy Ltd by Hochmetals Corp.;

(xii)   Barratt Paynes Ltd by Barratts Wood Green (Australia) Pty Ltd;

(xiii)   M allen & Co. Ltd by Reserves and Mining Investments Limited;

(xiv)   Uranium Consolidated No Liability by Metals Miniere Ltd

During the period 6 proposals were withdrawn before the completion of their preliminary examination. Another 4 proposals in respect of which interim orders had previously been issued were withdrawn before the completion of detailed investigation - namely,

(i)   Watson Victor Holdings Ltd by Nicopal Pty

Ltd;

(ii)   Boyded Pty Ltd by Panapak Pty Ltd;

(iii)   Fawnmac Industries Pty Ltd by Syntex Corp. of Panama;

(iv)   K.D.H. Pty Ltd by M.E.P.C. Aust. Pty Ltd

Detailed examinations of the following 3 proposals were completed during the period:

(i)   Wreckair Holdings Ltd by Consolidated Pneumatic Tool Co. Ltd;

(ii)   Ozapaper Ltd by Ozalid Co. Ltd;

(iii)   M. B. John & Hattersley Ltd by PeglerHattersley Ltd.

The Government decided that on objections should be raised to take-over proposals (i) and (ii). The Government decided that proposal (iii) was contrary to the national interest and a final order prohibiting the take-over was issued on 2nd March 1973.

(8)   The Companies (Foreign Take-overs) Act 1972 is administered by the Treasurer.

(9)   , (10) and (11) The screening and examination of take-over proposals is undertaken by an interdepartmental committee - the Committee on Foreign Takeovers - which consists of senior officers from appropriate Government departments. However, the Committee's function is to report to the Government and it is the Government and not the Committee which makes decisions on take-over proposals.







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