By Claire Reilly
Following Haier’s increased share price offering and the news that it plans to acquire a controlling stake in Fisher & Paykel, directors of the New Zealand appliance brand have written to shareholders advising them to accept Haier’s new offer.
After initially offering a price of $1.20 per share, which was struck down by F&P’s directors as below value, Haier increased its buying price to $1.28. Earlier today, Haier announced that the higher price had gained the support of the four major shareholders of F&P who between them hold a 31.6 per cent stake in the brand. With Haier’s 20 per cent stake, this buy out would be enough to gain control of F&P.
In the letter to shareholders, the chairman of Fisher & Paykel’s board, Keith Turner, said that the company’s independent directors “unanimously recommend that shareholders accept Haier’s increased offer price of $1.28 per share,” saying that it represented “fair value” for shareholders.
“The increased offer is within the independent adviser’s valuation range of $1.28 to $1.57 per share,” Turner wrote.
He also noted that the major shareholders had committed to accept the offer and that the directors and senior officers of F&P that hold shares in the company would also be accepting the offer.
“This means that with Haier’s existing 20 per cent shareholding, Haier will achieve its minimum acceptance condition of more than 50 per cent of the voting rights of FPA and will gain a controlling interest when the offer becomes unconditional.
“Directors acknowledge that some market commentators believe that should Haier’s offer close without Haier having reached 90 per cent acceptances, FPA shares will trade lower than the increased offer price of $1.28."
Shares of F&P were placed in a trading halt earlier today pending the release of the increased offer price. However, prior to this, F&P shares were trading at 97.5 cents on the Australian securities exchange.