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Allied mops up Montana

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Tuesday 11th September 2001

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UK liquor group Allied Domecq has begun the final phase in the biggest corporate battle of the year.

The company is moving to compulsory acquisition of the rest of Montana (NZSE: MON) shares it does not already own, closing the book on one of the sharemarket's wine success stories.

Allied now has almost 96% of Montana acquired at a price of $4.80 per share and says any remaining shareholders will be paid the same amount within seven days of completing a transfer.

If shareholders don't do the paperwork, the shares will be acquired by the company compulsorily in 21 days time with the purchase price paid to Montana to be held in trust until claimed.

Allied, through its New Zealand company Millstream, was allowed to move to compulsory acquisition once it had more than 90% of Montana shares.

Allied began its quest for Montana in February but spent several months in legal dispute with Lion Nathan (NZSE: LNN) after the brewer's raid on Montana shares took it to a majority holding.

Lion tried to hold onto its wine prize despite being found in default and ordered to sell 19% of its holding, but it eventually decided to take Allied's cash, pocketing a profit of more than $100 million for its efforts.

The delisting of Montana will see the end of a pure wine play on the NZSE's main board although a number of wine businesses are listed on the secondary market.

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