Cerebos $71m Comvita takeover offer lapses

Honey being packaging on a conveyor belt by honey products maker Comvita. Photo / supplied
Honey being packaging on a conveyor belt by honey products maker Comvita. Photo / supplied

Cerebos's $71.6 million takeover offer for Manuka honey products maker Comvita has lapsed after the Singapore-based company balked at the target's independent valuation.

The $2.50-a-share offer closed yesterday and any acceptance forms will now be destroyed, Cerebos said in a statement. Cerebos Gregg's chief executive George Crocker had said his company didn't accept an independent valuation of Comvita of $3.40 to $4, based on forecast earnings.

Shares of Comvita soared when Cerebos first announced its offer in October at a price the company hadn't traded at since May last year. The stock climbed as high as $2.95 in late November on hopes Cerebos would sweeten its proposal and talk that other parties were showing interest. It has since retreated to $2.50 again.

Comvita chairman Neil Craig had argued the proposal was opportunist, coming at a time when the company was emerging from a period of under-performance and with stronger prospects ahead.

Last week Craig said the company was "pleased that this takeover offer is now effectively behind us" as it had undervalued Comvita "by a very considerable margin."

Cerebos New Zealand, the local unit of Singapore-listed Cerebos Pacific, has local brands including Caffe L'Affare coffee, Bisto gravies, and Raro drink powder. It had planned to delist Comvita if the takeover succeeded.

- BusinessDesk

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