SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s government may block China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd’s 2319.HK> purchase of some of the country’s best-known milk brands, the Australian Financial Review reported on Thursday, citing unidentified sources who blamed “diplomatic issues”.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has gone against the advice of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) which was in favour of approving the A$600 million ($430.98 million) deal, the newspaper said.
That would mark the first government veto since Australia in July announced its biggest shake-up of foreign investment law in almost half a century. That gave the treasurer last-resort power to vary or impose conditions on deals even after FIRB approval, or force divestment in the event of a national security risk.
The revision came partly in response to fear that the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would make buying strategic assets easier for cashed-up foreigners.
The law does not mention any specific country of origin. China Mengniu’s approach, however, came against a backdrop of increasing Sino-Australia tension after Canberra called for an international inquiry into the origins of the novel coronavirus, which was first reported in China at the end of last year.
China Mengniu offered to buy Lion Dairy & Drinks Pty Ltd from Japan’s Kirin Holdings Co Ltd 2503.T> in November, just 10 days after receiving FIRB’s approval to buy infant formula maker Bellamy’s for A$1.43 billion. It gained approval from Australia’s competition regulator for the Lion deal in February.
“The government does not comment on the details of foreign investment screening arrangements as they apply, or could apply, to particular cases,” Frydenberg said in an emailed response to Reuters’ questions about the report.
A spokesman for Kirin said, “We have heard nothing is decided, so we cannot comment based on speculation.” A spokesman for China Mengniu declined to comment.
China Mengniu’s Hong Kong-listed shares were down 3.9% in a broader market .HSI> that fell 1.9%. Kirin shares closed down 0.1% in Tokyo versus a 1% fall in the benchmark index .N225>.
In March, Queensland Liberal National Party agriculture spokesman Tony Perrett wrote a letter to Frydenberg about milk supply concerns with the Mengniu deal and stating “grave concern about major food processor brands being purchased by Chinese companies with close ties to the Chinese government”.
“Given the increased uncertainty around food security and the need for greater economic self-reliance because of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a substantial shift in the public’s expectation,” Perrett said in the letter.
Perrett’s office on Thursday said a reply from the assistant treasurer was received in July saying Australia’s need for investment would be balanced with upholding the national interest.
Still, the treasurer’s opposition to the deal would be surprising given it was between two foreign companies and involved neither land nor sensitive assets, a person close to the companies said.
Rocky diplomatic relations between Australia and China suffered further in May when Canberra joined Western peers in criticising a security law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong.
That came after Beijing imposed import tariffs on Australian barley and suspended some beef imports. In June, it advised Chinese students and tourists to avoid travelling to Australia, citing racial discrimination.
On Tuesday, China’s commerce ministry announced an anti-dumping probe into imports of Australian wine.
Chinese investment to Australia more than halved in 2019 to $2.4 billion, and the number of deals is likely to keep falling this year due to the diplomatic tension as well as the coronavirus outbreak, bankers said.
“The cooling of relations has a fairly large impact,” said a banker that advises on international mergers and acquisitions, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
The banker said Chinese investors were still interested in Australian assets but were practical enough to understand the current difficulties were driven by politics.
(Reporting by Renju Jose, Paulina Duran, Scott Murdoch and Kirsty Needham; Additional reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Christopher Cushing)
Scripps' stock rockets after $2.65 billion ION Media deal is backed by Warren Buffett – MarketWatch
Shares of E.W. Scripps Co.
rocketed 43% toward an 8-month high in premarket trading Thursday, after the TV station owner confirmed a deal to buy the broadcast network ION Media for $2.65 billion, in a deal backed by Warren Buffett. As part of the deal, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
will make a $600 million equity investment in Scripps to help fund the deal. Based on Scripps’ stock closing price of $10.47 on Wednesday, the investment represents about 57.3 million shares, or roughly 70% of the shares outstanding. Berkshire was the Scripps’ second largest shareholder before the deal, with 5.7% of the shares outstanding, according to FactSet. Berkshire will also receive a warrant to buy an additional 23.1 million shares at $13. The Wall Street Journal had reported earlier that the deal was near. Scripps expects the deal will yield $500 million in synergies and be “highly accretive” to earnings. “For more than 70 years, Scripps has been dedicated to local broadcasting and the markets we serve with an unparalleled commitment to quality objective journalism, community service and stewardship of the public’s airwaves,” said Scripps Chief Executive Adam Symson. “Now, with this national broadcasting acquisition, Scripps will be the largest holder of broadcast spectrum, poised to take an even greater leadership role in the development of future business models that leverage ATSC 3.0 and spectrum to benefit the American people.” Scripps stock had dropped 33.4% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500
had edged up 0.2%.
Social media marketing mistakes | Inbound Marketing Agency – Browser Media
Mistakes happen, unfortunately. That is a nearly unavoidable part of life. However, there are steps we can take to avoid making certain mistakes… especially in social media marketing. It offers huge benefits to brands and is an extremely advantageous tool to add to any wider marketing strategy. In today’s world, if your business isn’t on social media in some capacity, you’re already two steps behind your competitors.
That being said, if not done correctly, social media marketing can have a negative impact on a brand. There are a number of common mistakes that many brands make on social media that will be hampering their social media strategy. Below are five of the most common social media mistakes that marketers must avoid.
1. Blanket sharing on each platform
Treating each social media platform in the same way is a common mistake that many brands will make. Every social media platform has its own set of guidelines that need to be considered when posting, additionally, each algorithm is unique to each platform. As a result sharing the exact same post on all social networks is setting you up for failure.
We understand that time and resources can be limited, and as a result, sharing the same post on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc can save a lot of time. However this means each platform isn’t being used to its full potential. For example, on Twitter, there is a character limit so posts need to be short and straight to the point. Whereas on LinkedIn you have more to work with and can be more descriptive in your posts.
2. Incomplete profiles
In my opinion, this is one of the worst things a brand can do on social media. Taking the time to fill out all the relevant information on your page shows potential customers that you are willing to put in time and effort, and you’re taking social media seriously.
I draw from personal experience: If I come across a social media account that is only half complete, I’ll be clicking off it very quickly. A lot of potential customers will use social media as a way to get in touch with a brand, and if your account doesn’t provide that kind of basic information you’re going to lose these customers.
One of the best ways to think about social media is an extension of your website. Imagine going onto a brand’s site to find it has been half completed and is missing information. What image does that portray?
3. Neglecting the importance of engagement
A lot of brands will think that simply posting on social media is enough, but it isn’t. Success on social media is all about engaging and being active on the platform. The more active an account is, and the more they are engaging with others, the more likely their posts will perform well.
In addition to impacting engagement, staying active on social media is important for building a relationship with your audience. If your customers need a quick response it’s common for them to take to social media to get in touch with a brand. Therefore, it’s good practice to ensure you are staying on top of comments and messages, and to try to reply as quickly as possible. This can be difficult as your accounts and following grow, but can be easily maintained using a social media management tool.
It’s called social media for a reason, the idea is to be social. Think of these channels as a place to build relationships with your customers, as opposed to a pure sales platform.
4. Only sharing internal content
Linking back to the previous point, a common mistake a lot of social media marketers will make is to solely share their own content. While of course, it’s important to drive users back to your site, if you want to grow your account you need to be sharing external content.
The main benefit of this is when you are sharing someone’s content it gives you the opportunity to tag them in the post. Hopefully, they will then see they have been tagged and potentially engage with the post by liking, sharing, retweeting, etc. Their audience will then see they have engaged with the post, further increasing its reach.
5. Lack of planning
This is potentially the most common social media marketers’ mistake. It can be easy to overlook the importance of planning and think you can just post an update as and when. Poor planning can make social media marketing a huge waste of time and money.
Before starting a social media campaign it’s important to set goals, work out a budget, and have a plan of action for how to achieve these goals. Social media marketing should be approached in the same way as any other marketing campaign and requires adequate planning to understand how success will be measured and the resources required to reach your goals.
These are just a few of the common mistakes many marketers will make when using social media. Ultimately, a social media marketing campaign is unique to each brand and should be tailored around the goals they have laid out.
Advocacy group urging social media platforms be held accountable for content they publish – inbrampton.com
One of the advantages of the internet is it provides a wealth of knowledge to anyone who has a device that can access it.
However, one of the downsides is with so much information available, a lot of it is unverified, while some of it can even be so inaccurate it becomes harmful.
Because of this, many believe social media companies, such as Facebook and YouTube should be held accountable for the information shared on their websites.
A new research report released by watchdog group FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting argues these companies should be considered publishers, and thus held accountable for user-generated content published to their platforms.
“Our elected officials don’t need to create new laws to deal with this problem. They don’t need to define harmful content, police social media, or constrain free expression in any new way. All government needs to do is apply existing laws,” Daniel Bernhard, Executive Director for FRIENDS, said in a news release.
“But if a judge decides that content circulated on social media breaks the law, the platform which publishes and recommends that illegal content must be held liable for it,” he continued.
In their defense, social media companies have argued that they simply function as bulletin boards that display user-generated content without editorial control–they posit that it would be impossible to discover illegal content from among the 100 billion daily posts.
Platforms such as Facebook claim to advertisers that they have technology that recognize content users post before it is published and pushed out to others.
Additionally, Facebook routinely exercises editorial control by promoting content users have never asked to see, including extreme content that would land other publishers in legal trouble, as well as conceals content from users without consulting them–another form of editorial control.
“Facebook and other social media platforms have complaints processes where they are alerted to potentially illegal or otherwise objectionable content. Yet it is their own community standards, not the law, which dictates whether they will remove a post,” George Carothers, director of research for FRIENDS, said in the same release.
“Even then Facebook employees say that the company does not apply its own standards when prominent right-wing groups are involved,” he continued.
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