Lines company: takeover ruling 'absolutely bizarre'
Marlborough Lines is taking the Takeovers Panel and Horizon Energy to the High Court to try and overturn costs awarded against it after last September's failed takeover bid.Marlborough Lines chair David Dew told NBR that he found the Takeovers Panel
Tue, 29 Jun 2010
Marlborough Lines is taking the Takeovers Panel and Horizon Energy to the High Court to try and overturn costs awarded against it after last September’s failed takeover bid.
Marlborough Lines chair David Dew told NBR that he found the Takeovers Panel decision to award costs against Marlborough “absolutely bizarre.”
“Under a normal takeover, the unsuccessful bidder has to pay the target company costs, and if Horizon had acted properly and cleanly and we hadn’t succeeded, that would have been the case, no argument."
Since the Takeovers Panel was not satisfied with Horizon’s behaviour on one count, Mr Dew argued that Marlborough Lines should not be liable for costs associated with the failed bid.
He also had concerns with the Takeovers Panel hearing process.
“In the course of the hearing, we found out a lot more information about what had been going on ... our current proceedings are to review all that and effectively say, look, both Horizon and the Takeovers Panel were out of order in how they did all this.”
“You’ve got a right to natural justice and a fair hearing and a fair disclosure.”
The dispute stems from a revised profit outlook issued by Horizon on the day before Marlborough announced its takeover offer.
In May this year, the Takeovers Panel ruled that it was not satisfied with Horizon’s failure to disclose a change in accounting treatment – but was satisfied that the change in accounting itself did not constitute misleading or deceptive conduct.
Shares in Horizon dropped 1.48% after yesterday’s disclosure that Marlborough had filed court proceedings, and last traded at $4.00.
Marlborough is now a substantial Horizon shareholder, following last week's successful acquisition of 10.1% of the company.
Tue, 29 Jun 2010
© All content copyright NBR. Do not reproduce in any form without permission, even if you have a paid subscription.