Rules prevent Hill family takeover of Michael Hill company

The Hill family has dropped its plans to boost its stake in Michael Hill International.

Late last month the Hill family indicated it planned to consolidate its holdings in the company, which have been in various trusts, into a single entity. Together the interests represent a 48% stake and makes the family the company's largest shareholder.

In addition, the family indicated it wanted to lift its stake to 50.1%, which would require shareholder approval under provisions set down by the Takeovers Code.

The Hill family requested the issue be put to the company’s annual meeting on November 5.

However, the Takeovers Panel has indicated it would not provide exemptions to the family, which is required to notify shareholders of the price paid for the shares.

The on-market acquisition process proposed by the Hill family meant the information would not be available in time for the November meeting.

As a result, the Hill family will no longer seek approval to increase its stake to a controlling interest of the company but its proposal to consolidate its holdings will still be put to shareholders.

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