Pulse Alert – News Pulse for December 21, 2018

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

Jobless rate increase makes wage rises tougher

Australians hoping for a big pay rise may have to wait even longer after new figures showed an increase in the slack across the jobs market and a fall in the number of people holding down full time work.

The November jobs report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed a slight increase in the unemployment rate to 5.1 per cent on the back of a lift in the number of people looking for work.

Peter Strong: Why 2018 was a good year for most small business owners 

There is no doubt 2018 was a year of good outcomes for small business owners in Australia. If, for no other reason, because the year ended with a big focus on the mental health of the self-employed. But there are plenty of other reasons we should be pleased.

In 2018, the government focused on growth for the economy through small business . As a result, our economy is now well placed to build on the innovation and energy provided by the 2.5 million self-employed Australians. The budget deficit will soon be a surplus giving more momentum to small business owners to start up, innovate and grow — if that is what they desire.

MYOB investors warn KKR’s bid is ‘dead’

Investors have lost faith that a better offer for accounting software provider MYOB will materialise after private equity giant KKR lobbed a much lower $3.40-a-share offer on Thursday, that the board said it could not back.

The low-ball offer from KKR, which came after seven weeks due diligence and was down from its most recent $3.77 non-binding offer, caused MYOB shares to tumble 14 per cent to $2.90. That level has not been plumbed since KKR’s interest in the $2 billion company was first revealed in October.

MYOB shareholders likely to go with KKR

Accounting software company MYOB and private equity group KKR look like they are entwined in the final takeover dance before completing a deal that will see the company bought and sold five times in 20 years.

Normally relations between a takeover target and an aggressor are much cooler than the apparent warmth shown by MYOB towards KKR. Chanticleer suspects that both MYOB and KKR realise that the tech wreck roiling through global markets has much more serious implications for lower-growth tech stocks than it does for high-growth companies.

MYOB board under the cosh

The board of takeover target MYOB is expected to finalise its discussions with its major investors today on whether to reject KKR’s reduced bid of $3.40 a share.

The accounting software company’s directors, led by chairman Justin Milne, reportedly came under pressure yesterday from shareholders who believe the lower bid still represents good value.

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.

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