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Brierley's tilt at Kirkcaldie fails

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/06/2016 Sophie Boot
Kirkcaldie and Stains department store, Wellington, New Zealand. © SNPA Kirkcaldie and Stains department store, Wellington, New Zealand.

Veteran corporate raider Ron Brierley's bid for Kirkcaldie & Stains has lapsed after he failed to attract enough acceptances from shareholders of the cashed-up retailer.

Kirkcaldie's board of directors repeatedly advised shareholders not to accept Mercantile's offer, which was initially $2.75 per share but was increased to $3 per share in April.

Mercantile is the third-largest shareholder in Kirkcaldie, which operated the upscale Wellington department store now being redeveloped as the first New Zealand branch of Australian retailer David Jones.

Brierley was looking to secure the residual assets of Kirkcaldie, whose ultimate value depends on the cost of exiting remaining property leases.

"Mercantile NZ gives notice that it has not received sufficient acceptances under the offer to satisfy the minimum acceptance condition of the offer and thus, the offer has lapsed," the company said in an NZX statement.

Two weeks ago, the board lifted its estimate for the cash that will be returned to shareholders when the company is wound up to a range of $3.50 to $3.60 a share, from a previous range of $2.99 to $3.49, having exited the lease on its Petone premises and sub-leased its Thorndon Quay site.

"In light of these revised numbers we continue to recommend that you do not sell your shares to Mercantile for $3," Kirkcaldie said.

Kirkcaldie stock was trading at $1.559 before the takeover offer was flagged and last traded at $3.26.

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