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Haier gets OIO approval for F&P takeover, declares bid unconditional

BUSINESSDESK: Chinese whiteware maker Haier has declared its bid for local manufacturer Fisher & Paykel Appliances unconditional after getting Overseas Investment Office approval for the takeover.

The OIO sign-off satisfied the last of Haier's conditions, giving it control of the New Zealand company, having secured 62.4% acceptances as of yesterday.

Haier's bid for at least half of the manufacturer got over the line after it raised its offer to meet the bottom of the independent valuation of between $1.28 and $1.57, satisfying enough institutional investors to sell.

"The support of the Fisher & Paykel Appliances independent directors for our revised offer price, acceptances by major shareholders, and the generally positive market reaction are clear indications of the very good value of our offer," Haier New Zealand Investment Holding Co chairman Liang Haishan says in a statement.

The shares were unchanged at $1.265 apiece. Shareholders have until November 6 to accept the increased offer.

Haier effectively rescued F&P Appliances in 2009 when it acquired a 20% stake as part of a capital raising that let the company refinance its debt.

The local manufacturer got distribution into China as a result of the deal and the ability to further licence its technology.