The $360 million Rebel Sport takeover by Archer Capital got over the line by the barest of margins after one of the three recalcitrant institutional shareholders blinked at this morning’s meeting in Sydney.

Check out the full voting results here. The scheme needed 75% support and achieved 76.69%. The raw votes were 51.45 million shares in favour, 15.64 million against and 13.26 million abstained.

Gerry Harvey controlled 42.4 million of the yes votes and the two biggest institutional shareholders were Perpetual with 8.22 million shares or 10.66% and Paradice with 5.93 million shares or 7.69%.

Invesco was on the record saying it would vote its 6.3% stake against, so the big question is which of Perpetual or Paradice wilted in the face of the Gerry Harvey blizzard of media attacks about “mad monkeys”.

Harvey Norman will book a $160 million profit on the sale and all the institutions will profit nicely from the $4.60 offer, including Paradice and Perpetual which have been buying in recent weeks due to fears they would vote the deal down. They’ve made a quick and ethically questionable profit from these dealings. Rebel shares were 33c to $4.58 this morning, just shy of the $4.60 bid price.

Meanwhile, we’ve updated our list of current and recent takeovers from yesterday to include the following:

Repco: private equity firm CCMP offered $336 million or $1.75 a share and investors will vote on the scheme of arrangement in early April. Major shareholders include NAB, Lazard, Franklin Resources Schroders and Suncorp.

E-Trade: ANZ is offering $268 million or $4.05 a share for the 68.5% it doesn’t own but the largest minority investors, Caledonia Investments, has increased its stake to 12.1% and can block the bid which is conditional on 90% acceptances.

Rural Press: Rural Press shareholders are expected to approve the generous Fairfax takeover at an EGM on 19 April.

Hardman Resources: British company Tullow Oil offered $1.4 billion or $2.02 a share which was a 60% premium. There was also a scrip alternative and the scheme sailed through in December 2006 with 94.4% in favour.

Brazin: founder and controlling shareholder Brett Blundy offered a miserable 78c a share in 2003 but came back in November 2006 with $1.81 a share bid for the 37.6% he didn’t own and this comfortably reached the 90% compulsory acquisition threshold.

Excel Coal: US firm Peabody Coal initially offered a board-endorsed $8.50 a share in July 2006 but then lifted this to $9.50 or $2.05 billion to secure shareholder approval and the scheme was endorsed by 99.98% of shares.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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