Bapcor, the ASX-listed autoparts firm, lifted its interest in Hellaby Holdings to 78.4 per cent from 71.4 per cent, edging closer to a takeover of the diversified investor it wants to break up while retaining its automotive business.
Bapcor has said it plans to sell Hellaby's equipment, resources and footwear businesses, using the remaining automotive division as a foothold in the New Zealand market, where car sales have been hitting record levels over the last three years due to a rapid increase in population and fast growing economy.
Hellaby's independent directors this week said they supported the takeover, having previously argued that it undervalued the company, after Bapcor declared its $3.60-per-share offer unconditional. The offer closes on February 7.
Representatives of the two companies met last week to discuss the takeover after Bapcor gained effective control of Hellaby by securing more than 50 per cent of the shares. It said Hellaby's independent directors have now provided Bapcor with "sufficient comfort around the remaining offer conditions" and these have now been lifted.
Hellaby shares last traded at $3.58 and have gained 26 per cent in the past 12 months.
Bapcor shares last traded at A$5.61 on the ASX and have surged 40 per cent in the past 12 months. The stock is rated a 'buy' based on the consensus of three analysts polled by Reuters.