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Bapcor raises Hellaby share offer

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/12/2016 Jonathan Underhill

Bapcor has raised its takeover offer for Hellaby Holdings by 30 cents to $3.60, bringing it into the independent valuation range and winning increased acceptances to lift total support for its proposal to 40 per cent.

Bapcor chief executive Darryl Abotomey said his company won't increase the cash offer again.

"Our discussions with various parties indicated that $3.60, which is within Grant Samuel's independent adviser's valuation range, would be the trigger point for them to accept our offer," he said.

"When Hellaby's head office costs are included in the valuation, as we believe they should be, $3.60 is near the top of an adjusted range of $3.18 to $3.64 per Hellaby share."

Hellaby's independent valuation from Grant Samuel was $3.60-to-$4.12 a share, published on November 1, and Hellaby had said the original offer from Bapcor under-valued the business, especially the automotive unit that Bapcor is interested in.

Bapcor countered that the valuation didn't include Hellaby's corporate head office costs but it failed in a request to the Takeovers Panel to look into alleged breaches of the Takeovers Code by Hellaby.

Bapcor extended the closing date for the offer to January 18 while the last date that Bapcor could declare the offer unconditional was pushed out to February 1.

Last week Hellaby's largest shareholder, Castle Investments, said Bapcor's offer was "compelling" and in trying to fend off the approach, the diversified investor has overstated its prospects and its independent valuation has omitted some costs.

Castle, owned by the Hugh Green Trust, holds 27.2 per cent of Hellaby and along with Salt Funds Management had entered a "pre-bid lock-up agreement" with Bapcor and accepted the offer. ACC initially only accepted the offer for some of its shares and has now agreed to sell its entire holding.

The takeover is a play for Hellaby's auto parts business and Bapcor has said it will sell the target company's equipment, resources and footwear businesses if successful.

Hellaby shares last traded at $3.20 and have gained 6.7 per cent this year.

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