Haier makes offer on F & P
Tue, 11 Sep 2012 8:09p.m.
Haier, the Chinese home appliance company, has offered to buy the 80 percent of Fisher & Paykel Appliances it doesn't already own for $1.20 a share.
Qingdao-based Haier has gained the agreement of FPA's second-largest shareholder, Allan Gray Australia, to sell its 17.46 percent stake into the offer. That means Haier only has to get about another 13 percent to win control of the Auckland-based manufacturer.
The cash offer represents a 63 percent premium over FPA's stock price of 75 cents last Friday, before Haier disclosed its interest on Monday, and values the target at about $869 million.
The stock soared to $1.04 on Tuesday and hasn't traded at $1.20 since September 2008.
The Chinese company would have to pay about $695 million for the remaining shares.
Haier effectively rescued FPA in 2009 when it acquired the holding as part of a capital raising that let the company refinance its debt.
FPA got distribution into China as a result of the deal and the ability to further license its technology.
"We believe the opportunity to receive cash and realise a significant premium over the current share price is attractive for Fisher & Paykel Appliances' shareholders, particularly given market volatility, recent economic uncertainty and the competitive nature of the global white goods sector," Liang Haishan, a director of Haier, said in a statement.
Allan Gray's acceptance of the offer "represents a strong endorsement of the value", he said.
The offer will open in 14 to 30 days, Haier said.
Independent directors of FPA are supportive of the proposal, subject to an independent valuation and in the absence of a superior offer, it said.
The deal requires regulatory approvals and a minimum acceptance that gives Haier at least 50 percent of the company. It will have to make an application to the Overseas Investment Office.
Mr Liang said FPA would remain as "a stand-alone company led by local management”.
"We want the Fisher & Paykel Appliances brand to stay and we will support its growth as a global premium brand, with the additional advantages of operating within the Haier Group," he said.
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11/09/2012 8:51:51 p.m.
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