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Bapcor edges closer to Hellaby takeover

NZN 29/01/2017 Jonathan Underhill

ASX-listed auto firm Bapcor edged closer to its takeover of Hellaby Holdings, lifting its holding to just below the 90 per cent level that will allow it to compulsorily acquire the remaining shares.

Bapcor's interest in the diversified investor rose to 88.6 per cent from 87.2 per cent at its last disclosure, according to a substantial security holder notice on Monday.

The Australian company has already installed its own directors to the board, including chief executive Darryl Abotomey, who will assume Hellaby's chair. Last week senior executives of Hellaby disclosed they had sold down their holdings in the company, including chief executive Alan Clarke, who is remaining on board to help manage the change in ownership.

Bapcor has said it plans to sell Hellaby's equipment, resources and footwear businesses, using the remaining automotive division as a foothold in the New Zealand market, where car sales have been hitting record levels over the last three years due to a rapid increase in population and fast growing economy.

Bapcor has already declared its $3.60-per-share offer, which closes on February 7, unconditional. The shares last traded at $3.58.

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