Jamie Gray

Jamie Gray is a business reporter for the New Zealand Herald and NZME. news service.

F&P takeover: Haier closer to full control

Haier's raised offer for F&P Appliances puts it in the box seat to take over. Photo / Glenn Jeffrey
Haier's raised offer for F&P Appliances puts it in the box seat to take over. Photo / Glenn Jeffrey

Full control of Fisher & Paykel Appliances is set to pass to Haier after the Chinese home appliance giant reached the 90 per cent ownership threshold necessary to trigger compulsory acquisition.

Haier had increased its offer to $1.28 from an original offer of $1.20 and was at pains to stress that it would not up the ante. The offer, which valued the company at $927 million, closed today.

"We are delighted that a significant majority of shareholders have recognised the value of our offer,'' said Liang Haishan, president of Haier White Goods Group.

"We look forward to working with Fisher & Paykel Appliances during the next phase of the development, and identifying opportunities for further collaboration between Fisher &Paykel Appliances and Haier and strengthening both brands and businesses,'' he said.

Haier received Overseas Investment Office approval for the purchase last month.

The Chinese company first bought into F&P Appliances in 2009 when it was forced to shore up its balance sheet in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

The most vociferous shareholding opponent of the issue, Tower, accepted the offer last week.

"Even the most vocal of shareholders appear to have accepted, so there does not appear to be any one large hold-out,'' said one fund manager.

By exceeding the 90 per cent threshold, Haier can compulsorily mop up the rest of the stock and de-list it, thereby avoiding the cost of having to maintain its listings on the NZX and ASX.

Labour's economic development spokesman David Cunliffe said the passing of F&P Appliances to Haier was a "dark day'' for New Zealand manufacturing.

Cunliffe said the sale meant that New Zealand had lost an icon.

- APNZ

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