Christopher Adams

The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Investor gives in to Haier power

Tower disappointed at price of bid but accepts offer for F&P shares.

"We wouldn't want to be a substantial minority shareholder in a company where wouldn't have any effective influence" - Sam Stubbs, Tower Investments. Photo / APN
"We wouldn't want to be a substantial minority shareholder in a company where wouldn't have any effective influence" - Sam Stubbs, Tower Investments. Photo / APN

Tower Investments, one of the most vocal opponents of Haier's takeover bid for Fisher & Paykel Appliances, has accepted the Chinese whiteware giant's $1.28 per share offer for the New Zealand company.

Sam Stubbs, the fund manager's chief executive, said the fact that the offer went unconditional this week - after receiving approval from New Zealand's Overseas Investment Office - contributed to Tower's decision to sell its 3.7 per cent stake in the East Tamaki-based manufacturer.

On Thursday Haier released a statement saying its offer price, which was raised from $1.20 per share to $1.28 per share last month, was final and would not be increased.

Stubbs had earlier criticised Haier's $1.20 per share offer as being "a steal", saying F&P Appliances was worth $3.31 a share to Haier if it was successful in pulling off a 100 per cent takeover.

"We're disappointed by the [$1.28] price, but we feel that there's enough momentum in the acceptances that Haier will either get over 90 per cent, or even if they didn't get 90 per cent we wouldn't want to be a substantial minority shareholder in a company where we wouldn't have any effective influence," he said.

If Haier reaches the 90 per cent acceptance mark it will automatically be able to buy the remaining shares and delist F&P Appliances from the NZX.

The Qingdao-based firm had secured 72.37 per cent yesterday afternoon, according to a statement lodged with the stock exchange.

Stubbs said Haier's latest offer price was at the very bottom of the $1.28 per share to $1.57 per share range in the independent report. "We are reluctantly accepting."

Tower was yet to decide where it would reinvest the funds released but there was talk that a number of new listings could go on the NZX soon. The offer closes on Tuesday.

- NZ Herald

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