Haier intends 'business as usual'
Wed, 12 Sep 2012 6:06p.m.
By Tony Field
Analysts believe Haier will need to up its offer for Fisher & Paykel appliances if its takeover bid is to succeed.
The Chinese company says it's willing to pay $1.20 per share for the iconic New Zealand company.
Gary Paykel spent 52 years with F&P, the firm his father co-founded in 1934. He's surprised it's taken so long for somebody to make a bid for a company that's traded on the share market for 33 years.
“I'm very pleased it is Haier actually because we have worked very well with them over the last few years, in fact more years than that, before they were a shareholder,” says Mr Paykel.
He says he will be guided by the board in deciding whether to accept the offer.
“We have not made a recommendation yet, until we make that recommendation, we recommend shareholders do not do anything,” says F&P chairman Keith Turner.
Haier's bid has raised fears for the jobs of the 1,100 staff who work in New Zealand, particularly at the Auckland manufacturing plant.
“People should not be fearful about their jobs because of Haier's proposed offer,” says Haier spokesman John Walsh.
Haier says its intention is to continue business as usual.
“Haier's proposed intention very much is to retain the existing material businesses of F&P and its existing operations in New Zealand,” says Mr Walsh.
And Mr Paykel is taking them at their word.
“Our people are highly valued by Haier. We have been providing technology for some time now, it's certainly sped up since they became the corner shareholder, so, more of the same, more of that excellent, innovative technology."
That technology may yet drive the offer price higher, fund manager Brian Gaynor says Haier needs 100 percent ownership to have full access.
He thinks Haier will gain full control of the company, but he thinks to do that they are going to have to raise their offer price - perhaps to as much as a $1.30.
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