The Haier Group today issued a statement saying it will be following through on its intention to buy out Fisher & Paykel and complete the takeover of the jointly-listed New Zealand and Australian appliance manufacturer. Haier currently owns 20 per cent of Fisher & Paykel from its original purchase in 2009.
Haier will offer NZ $1.20 (AU 94 cents) per share for Fisher & Paykel, which is currently trading at NZ $1.04 (AU 81 cents). It closed trading in Australia today at 81.5 cents.
Making this takeover bid easier for Haier is the announcement that Fisher & Paykel’s second biggest shareholder, Allen Gray Australia Pty Ltd, has already agreed to sell its shares. Haier was already the biggest shareholder.
“We believe our proposed offer for Fisher & Paykel Appliances represents excellent value for shareholders and will be well received by them,” said Haier director and Whitegoods Group president Liang Haishan.
“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.”
In his statement of intent, Haishan expressed respect for and happiness with current Fisher & Paykel staff and management. A provisional period of two years for them to continue running the Fisher & Paykel business, which will remain a separate entity, was discussed.
“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,” Liang said.
“We also wish to retain the existing Fisher & Paykel Appliances development base in New Zealand and to support the future growth of Fisher &Paykel Appliances’ product development capabilities.”
“Should our proposed offer be successful, we wish to retain their technical and operational expertise and business development capabilities. We think the opportunities for Fisher & Paykel Appliances’ employees will increase over time as a result of our greater involvement.”