SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia’s coalition government will face its biggest test toward investment from mainland China since its May re-election with at least two corporate buyouts likely needing approval from a regulatory body increasingly vigilant of security risks.
Australia has taken a harder line to foreign investment particularly since the United States raised concerns over the involvement in telecommunications networks of Chinese base-station maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
On Monday, Beijing-backed China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd (2319.HK) offered $13.25 per share to buy Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (BAL.AX), valuing the infant milk powder producer at A$1.5 billion (£825 million).
Meanwhile, conglomerate Lendlease Group’s (LLC.AX) sale of its engineering services business has attracted interest from more than one Chinese party, sources told Reuters.
The following is a list of major foreign investment deals that Australia rejected over the past decade.
Huawei is blocked from participating in Australia’s fifth-generation (5G) mobile network on national security grounds
A A$13 billion ($8.90 billion) bid for natural gas company APA Group (APA.AX) by Hong Kong’s CK Infrastructure Holdings Ltd (CKI) (1038.HK) is rejected by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg citing the concentration of foreign ownership in gas transmission
Current Prime Minister and then-Treasurer Scott Morrison rejects a A$10 billion bid for 50.4% of electricity distributor Ausgrid from CKI and State Grid Corp of China citing security concerns
Morrison also rejects a A$371 million bid from Shanghai CRED and Hunan Dakang Pasture Farming for S. Kidman and Co, one of Australia’s largest beef producers, saying the sale is not in the national interest
A A$3.4 billion bid from U.S. food processor Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM.N) for agri-business Graincorp Ltd (GNC.AX) is rejected by then-Treasurer Joe Hockey on competition and national interest grounds
Singapore Exchange Ltd’s (SGXL.SI) A$8 billion bid for peer ASX Ltd (ASX.AX) is rejected by Wayne Swan, treasurer under the administration of Julia Gillard, who said the deal would diminish Australia’s economic and regulatory sovereignty
A A$1.75 billion bid from Hong Kong’s Minmetals Land Ltd (0230.HK) for OZ Minerals Ltd (OZL.AX) is altered when Swan rules the Prominent Hill mine in South Australia near the Woomera military zone could not be part of the deal
Reporting by Scott Murdoch; Editing by Christopher Cushing