WHILE Queensland is regarded as an economy in transition with the winding down of the mining boom, the 2017 top 50 Brisbane companies confirmed this change with a diverse range of businesses that drive the economy and create jobs.
From the conservative bank and insurance stalwarts to real estate, financial services, travel, IT, food staples and agricultural companies, you can now add some left field plays into the mix with motorcycles, jewellery, veterinary services, RV's and caravans and even a new miner (Metro Mining Limited) just to keep us all on our toes.
In all, seven debutants made it into the top 50 with jeweller Michael Hill International Limited gate-crashing some of the biggest players in the country with an entry at 25 with a market cap of just under half a billion dollars, with Antipodes Global Investment Company Limited announcing its presence at number 31 and RV seller Apollo Tourism & Leisure also joining the list at number 38.
SEVEN COMPANIES IN, SEVEN COMPANIES OUT
Of course, if there are seven debutants there are seven that dropped out and, as you'd expect, these often serve as a lesson that the road to success is not always that easy.
Carindale Property Trust (#21 in 2016), Sedgman (#34 in 2016), lawyers Shine Corporate (#40 in 2016), Redflow Limited (#41 in 2016), Devine Limited (#47 in 2016) and Site Group (#44 in 2016) and Tamawood (#49) all made way.
Takeover action looks like becoming a major theme for Brisbane companies this year with Tatts Group being targeted by a heavyweight consortium fronted by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, which threatens to derail its pending merger with Tabcorp.
Civil contracting company Seymour Whyte is the target of a serious takeover bid from French construction giant Vinci and it's promised not to tout itself to any other potential suitors as it weighs up the deal which values them at $120 million.
TAKEOVER ACTION SET TO DOMINATE THE BUSINESS YEAR
Brisbane companies are also predators, and not just prey for bigger players.
Cromwell Property Group is stalking Investa Office Fund (IOF) in a classic corporate raid with the Brisbane-based company lobbing a hand grenade into the room with a new $3 billion cash bid for IOF in April which resulted in them being granted due diligence.
And Pinnacle Investment Management Group (formerly Wilson Group) attracted plenty of attention in January when it made an ultimately failed audacious bid for beleaguered fund management group Hunter Hall International.
While takeover talk will dominate headlines, keep an eye out for some of the "quiet achievers" which are poised for rapid growth throughout the year including Blue Sky which has added $1 billion in assets under management for the 2016 calendar year, with expectations of up to $3.3 billion by the end of 2017.
And Megaport hangs on to its place in the top 50 with a global reach which is growing exponentially and a 345 per cent rise in half year revenue. They're playing the long game and may make headlines of their own later in 2017. Founded by Bevan Slattery, Megaport is one of three top 50 companies which is linked to the serial entrepreneur, along with Superloop and NextDC.
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These are the Top Companies management shuffles which occurred in 2017
These companies have significantly boosted their positions on the Top Companies list
These companies have dropped position on the Top Companies list
These are the companies that have left the Top Companies list in 2017