Talk of a possible Australian play for NZX listed giant SkyCity Entertainment Group has raised concerns on this side of the Tasman.
Shane Solly, a portfolio manager of Harbour Asset Management in Auckland, has reacted to a report from The Australian which said ASX-listed The Star Entertainment Group is looking at SkyCity Entertainment Group as a possible merger target.
"It is understood that The Star Entertainment Group's chief executive, Matt Bekier, has expressed his willingness to embark on a merger with the rival casino operator across the Tasman, subject to price," The Australian reported, naming SkyCity here as the target.
Solly expressed concern this morning.
"New Zealand investors are in no hurry to see another New Zealand company taken over and removed from the New Zealand market. We want to support well-run businesses in New Zealand. We would like to see Sky City improve its underlying performance. We have got a market with a shortage of good businesses and we want more good businesses to invest into," Solly told the Herald this morning.
The Star Entertainment Group is trading at $A5.14/share and is one of Australia's largest gaming and entertainment groups.
The Australian reported how SkyCity investors were threatening to call an extraordinary meeting to vote on the departure of chairman Chris Moller.
"The push is believed to be led by major institutional investors, including Perpetual, Investors Mutual and Maso Capital, sources said on Tuesday night," The Australian reported.
SkyCity told the Herald it would not be commenting on what it described as "speculation".
Moller was this month named in New Zealand by the Deloitte Top 200 list as the top chairman of the year.
"Christopher Moller has demonstrated courageous decision-making, flexibility and a broad skillset through his range of chairmanships over the years," a Herald report said.
"Presently the chair of NZ Transport Agency, Meridian Energy, and SkyCity Entertainment Group and a director of Westpac, he is admired for the breadth of his contributions.
"The Deloitte Top 200 judges noted Moller's willingness to lead from the front in the roles that he holds - an approach that earned him the QBE Insurance Chairperson of the Year award," the report said.