MIDDAY UPDATE: Billionaire Chinese investor keen on NZ

Jan. 16 (BusinessDesk) - Billionaire Li Ka-shing's Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (CKI) is describing New Zealand as a core investment destination after it beefed up its presence with $501 million purchase of EnviroWaste.

The biggest user of waste material by mass in Hong Kong is looking to leverage its expertise in materials handling as it expands into waste management, while collecting a steady income from EnviroWaste.

"The operations will be able to share their expertise, and explore opportunities of synergy," managing director Kam Hing Lam said in a statement on the CKI website.

The company, which still has HK$5 billion of cash on hand after three large acquisitions in the past four months, says New Zealand has always been one of its core markets of interest.

"We are pleased with our existing investment in Wellington Electricity Lines Ltd, and have found that the country's legal system and stable political condition provide a very efficient business environment," Kam said.
In 2008, Vector sold its Wellington electricity network to CKI for $785 million.

Emulex extends Endace bid

American IT network provider Emulex has extended its takeover bid for New Zealand-based, London-listed network software developer Endace by 14 days to Jan. 31.

The takeover was recommended unanimously to shareholders by Endace directors when announced last month, but it appears the New Zealand Christmas-New Year shutdown has slowed the expected response rate.

The GBP80.7 million offer will see Endace delist from the AIM exchange, where it has struggled for traction for its network visibility infrastructure, which it says "is trusted by some of the world’s largest organizations to accelerate their response to network and security problems".

Mid-sized Texan oil explorer Apache Corp has withdrawn from from a joint venture with Canadian TAG Oil to hunt for oil and gas in shale deposits on the East Coast of the North Island, citing more attractive options in other territories.

The pair were to explore together for oil and gas in licence areas in the Gisborne and Hawke's Bay regions. TAG says it will now go it alone.
The shale gas play is likely to involve the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", to which the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment last year gave a partial clean bill of health, subject to robust regulation.

A groundswell of local opposition to the exploration has been building in the region.

"We are a large company and we have opportunities all over the world," an Apache senior vice-president for global corporate affairs, Bob Dye, told BusinessDesk from from Houston. "We reviewed where we are at and decided to invest our money elsewhere."

Publicis Mojo NZ in liquidation

The National Business Review reports that prominent advertising agency Publicis Mojo has placed its New Zealand operation in liquidation, owing some $16 million, according to the first liquidator's report, although $15.5 million of that is to group entities.

The agency, which is headquartered in France, counted Goodman Fielder, Hallenstein Glassons and Nestle among its customers in New Zealand. The liquidation took effect just before Christmas and saw some 20 staff lose their jobs.



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