BUSINESS BRIEFS

Allco makes subdued debut MELBOURNE – Allco Equity Partners Ltd, headed by former Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd chief Peter Yates, made a subdued debut on the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday. The $6 stock, partly paid at $2, closed the day at $1.75 after reaching a high of $1.98.
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Over the next two years shareholders will have to cough up another $4 for each share they own.

The performance did not come as a surprise to Mr Yates who said Allco shareholders, mostly made up of institutions, were in it for the long term.

The prospectus was oversubscribed, raising $550 million, and Mr Yates said another $450 million had to be sent back to shareholders who rushed the prospectus.

Mr Yates said he believed the company was not easily understood by retail shareholders and for this reason Allco restricted the amount of shares it allocated to those investors.

“For the general public we issued investors with 500 shares and then a further 10 per cent of what they asked for,” he said.

“Our view is that the stock is a long term stock – investors who were looking for the classic stag profit were going to be very disappointed.

“I’m not surprised by the outcome – we have always taken a cautious approach.”

Village settles tax dispute BRISBANE – Entertainment group Village Roadshow Ltd said yesterday it has settled a dispute with the Australian Tax Office.

In a statement the company said the dispute involved alternative assessments of $101.9 million in 1993 and $132 million in 1994.

Village said the terms of the settlement were confidential.

But it said the settlement will have no material impact on its financial position, net profit after tax for the year ended 30 June, 2005.

Nor will it have a material effect on its forecast cash flows.

In March the ATO told Village that after an audit covering a five-year period to June 30, 1998 an adjustment was necessary.

The ATO said the adjustment was warranted to increase the 1993 and 1994 taxable incomes.

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