The tumbling stockmarket should provide some hope to the private equity barbarians attempting to strong-arm various institutional investors to accept board-endorsed takeover bids for Qantas, APN News & Media and Rebel Sport.
Australia is known for its very high success rate on takeovers but in recent times we’ve seen unprecedented recalcitrance. What have these decisions meant for the various share prices?
Here is a status report of the failed and threatened takeovers of the past few months:
Rebel Sport: Archer Capital have offered $4.60, controlling shareholder Gerry Harvey has agreed but Perpetual, Paradice, Invesco have 25% and are threatening to vote it down on Thursday. Unchanged at $4.25 today.
Flight Centre: $17.20-a-share privatisation bid by founders and PEP defeated singlehandedly by 12.45% shareholder Lazard. Shares today $14.65.
Pacifica: Bosch offered $2.20 with board support but only got 75% as Investors Mutual and Lazard refused to accept. Shares today $1.95.
Chiquita Brands: Frank Costa and Timbercorp offered 74.5c-a-share but only got 80% as MMC Capital refused to accept for its 14.6%. Shares today 76c and bidders have called an EGM to fire an independent director for this Friday.
Qantas: Barbarians offering $5.45 but stock down another 2c to $5.07 today as UBS and Balanced Equity tipped to reject the bid which closes on April 3.
APN News & Media: O’Reilly family, Providence Equity Partners and The Carlyle Group have offered $6.10 but stock down 1c to $5.81 today as Perpetual has said it will probably vote its 14.5% stake against at the meeting in late May.
Coles: board rejected $15.25 from barbarians last October. Stock now $15.53 as embarrassed board now voluntarily selling the whole company after profit downgrade.
Rinker: Mexican concrete giant Chemeq offering $17 in a hostile bid but board and independent expert have both dismissed so has no chance. Stock down 32c to $18.73 today.
That said, it is important to remember that takeover bids for the likes of Burns Philip, Excel Coal, Brazin and Hardman Resources all succeeded last year.
However, it seems to be getting harder with each deal, although a sharp correction in the market could turn the tide.
*Disclosure: the author has invested $500 in all of the companies mentioned