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3 companies facing a busy Christmas

Christmas is coming, but there will not be much of a holiday for these companies.

The Federal government may allow greater foreign ownership of Qantas (ASX: QAN) by lifting the 1992 Qantas Sale Act, which restricts the percentage of foreign ownership to 49%. Qantas is trying to compete with Virgin Australia Holdings (ASX: VAH), which has three major foreign airlines on its share register. These foreign owners are injecting funds to increase the competition with Qantas.

Oil and gas company AWE (ASX: AWE) received an unexpected takeover bid, and it looks like it is from Senex Energy (ASX: SXY). AWE has oil and gas assets in WA and the Bass Strait, New Zealand, Texas and Indonesia. It is considered a good value small-cap company. Shares in AWE were put into a trading halt until 17 December when the announcement of the proposal is formally released.

Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN) will have to pay more for each of its poky machines to the Victorian state, as the state government moves to increase tax intake. The casino operator will now have to pay a levy of $22,715 per machine, and it’s expected that it will have an extra $184 million in tax to pay over the next four years. As a concession, the state government may allow it to decrease its player return ratio to 85% from 87%.

Foolish takeaway

There is still action left in the market before we go into the holiday break. Could the AWE takeover offer be the catalyst for more suitors, or increased M&A activity in the oil and gas industry? Before the LNG exporting gets into full swing, companies may be thinking about how to position themselves before gas prices go up if supply constraints are seen.

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Motley Fool contributor Darryl Daté-Shappard does not own shares in any company mentioned. 

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