Going, going, gone – Haier gets 90% of F&P

UPDATE / 3.15pm: Haier has reached more than 90% ownership of Fisher & Paykel Appliances, enabling it to de-list the company.

In a stock market update this afternoon, Haier says it has control of 92.79% of the company after its $1.28-per-share takeover offer.

Haier New Zealand Investment Holding Company chairman Liang Haishan says in a statement: “We look forward to working with Fisher & Paykel Appliances during the next phase of the development, and identifying opportunities for further collaboration between Fisher & Paykel Appliances and Haier and strengthening both brands and businesses. ”


10.30am: Chinese whiteware giant Haier is expected to go close to 90% of Fisher & Paykel Appliances today – the last official day of its shareholder offer.

This morning, Haier disclosed it had reached 81.21% of the company at its recently-raised offer of $1.28 a share.

With Overseas Investment Office approval, the offer has gone unconditional.

Haier, which bought 20% of F&P in 2009, said last week its offer price was final.

The company might extend its offer today if it gets close to the 90% mark – at which point it can compulsorily acquire the remaining shares and delist the company.

Tower Investments chief executive Sam Stubbs was outspoken about Haier's initial offer of $1.20, calling it a "steal", but his company has reluctantly accepted the $1.28 offer.

He told NBR ONLINE he thinks Haier will get close to 90% of the company today.

"All of the brokers have recommended it and all of the major institutions, I think, now have accepted it.

"So you're probably now relying on people who haven't paid a lot of attention to it; haven't opened the mail. Or obviously are active against doing it.

"My gut feeling is it will be very close." 

F&P directors and senior managers, including former director Gary Paykel, have accepted Haier's offer.

Mr Stubbs says the "base case" is Haier will extend its offer – which it can do before 5pm today – but he did not know whether it would.

According to the Takeovers Code Approval Order 2000, Haier's takeover offer can be extended by up to 60 days, beginning on the day the offer became unconditional.

John Walsh, the Wellington general manager of Haier's spin doctors, Acumen Republic, said last night he could not comment on the possibility Haier will extend the offer.

F&P shares (NZX: FPA) closed up 0.8% last night, to $1.275, on trade of more than eight million shares. The stock started the year at 36 cents.

dwilliams@nbr.co.nz


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