Takeovers Panel considers allegations Horizon Energy breached code

Marlborough Lines has asked the Takeovers Panel to look into its failed partial takeover bid for Horizon Energy last year, with several allegations Eastern Bay Trust-owned company Horizon breached the Takeovers Code.The panel received a formal request from the lines company's lawyers, Radich Law, to investigate several allegations about NZX-listed (NZX: HED) Horizon Energy.

Marlborough Lines has asked the Takeovers Panel to look into its failed partial takeover bid for Horizon Energy last year, with several allegations Eastern Bay Trust-owned company Horizon breached the Takeovers Code.

The panel received a formal request from the lines company’s lawyers, Radich Law, to investigate several allegations about NZX-listed (NZX: HED) Horizon Energy.

A statement released today and signed off by Takeovers Panel chairman David Jones said the panel believed rule 64 of the Takeovers Code might have been contravened in two of the allegations and is scheduled to meet on Friday and again on Tuesday in Wellington to decide whether to act.

Rule 64 prohibits misleading or deceptive conduct relating to regulated transactions.

Marlborough Lines alleges Horizon and its directors may have contravened rule 64 by issuing a revised profit outlook in September 2009 if they had no reason to do so.

Horizon’s profit upgrade came the day after the takeover bid was lodged.

It also alleges Horizon breached it by stating, in response to Marlborough’s offer, that the $3.96 to $4.68 a share valuation did not reflect the full value of the company (again if it did not have a reason for making that statement).

Majority shareholder Eastern Bay Energy Trust (with a 77% stake) shunned the bid, saying at the time it favoured community ownership.

Horizon Energy shares were unchanged at $3.75 this afternoon.