Jamie Gray

Jamie Gray is a business reporter for the New Zealand Herald and APNZ wire agency

Fisher & Pakel shares firm on Haier rejection

Keith Turner, chairman of the board of directors for Fisher & Paykel, has told shareholders to reject the takeover offer coming from Haier. Photo / NZ Herald
Keith Turner, chairman of the board of directors for Fisher & Paykel, has told shareholders to reject the takeover offer coming from Haier. Photo / NZ Herald

Shares in takeover target Fisher & Paykel Appliances firmed slightly after the company's independent directors rejected a $1.20 a share takeover from China's Haier, which already owns 20 per cent of the stock.

By 10.20 am, F&P Appliances shares were trading at $1.22, up 2c from Wednesday's close.

Australian fund manager Allan Gray, F&P Appliances' biggest shareholder after Haier, has already accepted the offer by virtue of a lock-up agreement, giving the Chinese firm an effective 37.46 per cent stake.

F&P Appliances' chairman Keith Turner said earlier that the independent directors - himself, Philip Lough, Lynley Marshall and Bill Roest, had considered a full range of expert advice, including a report from corporate valuation specialists Grant Samuel.

"The independent directors consider that Haier's offer of $1.20 per FPA share does not adequately reflect their view of the value of F&P Appliance based on their confidence in the strategic direction of the company," Turner said in a statement.

The independent adviser's opinion was that the full underlying value of the company's shares was in a range of $1.28 to $1.57 per share, he said.

Forsyth Barr broker David Price said the price action in F&P Appliances suggested the market was playing "a wait and see" game.

"At the moment they (Haier) do not need too many people to get them over the line (50 per cent)," Price said. "They are already at 37 per cent so obviously the ball is firmly in Haier's court," he said.

"The price is certainly not in the range of the independent report so the market is just playing a wait and see game," he said.

Price added that heavy turnover in F&P Appliances reflected the view that the bid would be raised.

Retail investors make up roughly 30 per cent of East Tamaki-based F&P Appliances' total shareholder base.

Qingdao-based Haier - one of the world's biggest whiteware makers - posted offer documents to shareholders last week and an independent report on the offer should be sent to investors by October 10. The offer closes on November 6.

- APNZ

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