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New Allied bid recommended

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Monday 6th August 2001

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Montana's (NZSE: MON) independent directors have recommended shareholders accept a current offer by Allied Domecq to buy the stock at a price of $4.80 per share.

In a letter to shareholders the directors say the offer exceeds the fair market value range of between $4.28 and $4.72 assessed in a new appraisal report from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The independent directors say they are also recommending the Allied bid because it is the only offer for Montana which is currently open for acceptance.

A previous offer by Lion Nathan (NZSE: LNN) - which consisted of a partial offer at $5.50 and a remainder offer at $3.80 - has been withdrawn following a finding by the Montana Standing Committee that the bid is linked to the selldown of a 19% stake by Lion.

Lion announced last week it wants the High Court to review the order that it sell the 19% stake.

In their letter to shareholders the Montana independent directors point out that whether or not Allied's offer becomes unconditional will, in part, depend on it being able to purchase a substantial portion of the 19% penalty holding which Lion has been ordered to sell.

The directors have also recommended that shareholders wait as long as possible before deciding to accept the Allied offer.

"In this way shareholders will give themselves the best opportunity to assess the merits of any new offer that is made and compare the terms of any new offer with those offered by Millstream," the letter says.

Acceptances of the offer are due by Friday, August 24.

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