Hellaby recommends investors wait for guidance on takeover bid

By Paul McBeth

Victoria-based Bapcor is offering $3.30 a share to take full control of Hellaby. Photo / File
Victoria-based Bapcor is offering $3.30 a share to take full control of Hellaby. Photo / File

Hellaby Holdings shares closed up 8.91 per cent at the $3.30 price offered by Australian-listed autoparts firm Bapcor for its $322.5 million takeover bid. The NZX-listed company's board said it "strongly recommends" shareholders put off selling until it provides further guidance, and will meet to consider the takeover notice and appoint an independent adviser.

Victoria-based Bapcor is offering $3.30 a share to take full control of Hellaby, an 8.9 per cent premium to Monday's closing price of $3.03, and has secured acceptances totalling almost 30 per cent. Bapcor wants to delist Hellaby, and plans to sell the equipment, resources and footwear businesses to focus on the automotive segment.

"It's a very small premium to pay for a 100 per cent takeover," said Grant Williamson, of Hamilton Hindin Greene.

Hellaby has been overhauling its portfolio and investment strategy under new managing director Alan Clarke to exit non-core businesses and focus on its automotive and resource services units.

Last month the investment firm posted a 30 per cent decline in annual profit to $19.6 million, having lowered earnings guidance earlier this year.

Bapcor chief executive Darryl Abotomey said the deal would let the company "enter the New Zealand automotive parts market and use its scale and proven industry expertise to improve the service and range of products offered in New Zealand, while looking for opportunities to expand, as it successfully has in Australia".

If it doesn't succeed it plans to enter the NZ automotive market either organically or through an acquisition, the takeover notice said.

Salt Funds, ACC and the former Hugh Green Holdings, now called Castle Investments, have agreed to sell to the Australian company.

- BusinessDesk

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