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Montana shareholders told to hang fire

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Friday 13th July 2001

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Winemaker Montana (NZSE: MON) says shareholders should not make up their minds about current takeover offers for the company until they see a target company statement in relation to the offer.

Both Lion Nathan (NZSE: LNN) and Allied Domecq have made bids for Montana, although they have also both been under a restraining order from acquiring further shares.

Montana says shareholders should note that the takeover notices received from both Lion and Allied indicate that acceptances cannot be withdrawn, except where payment is not received by a shareholder in accordance with the Takeovers Code.

Under the Takeovers Code Montana has to send shareholders a target company statement, which will include an independent advisor's report, recent share dealings and trading prices in Montana shares, and any recommendation in relation to the offers.

The independent directors of Montana say shareholders should wait for the target company statement before deciding what to do.

"Shareholders will not be prejudiced by delaying their decision whether to accept either offer until they have received the relevant target company statement," the independent directors say in a statement.

"Under the new Takeovers Code regime both Lion's and Allied's offers must be open for acceptance for a period of 30 days and the relevant target company statement must be sent to shareholders within the first 14 days of this 30 day period.

"Shareholders will then have the balance of the 30 day period (approximately 15 days) to consider the Target Company Statement and then whether to lodge an acceptance."

The directors say that a Montana shareholder who properly delivers an acceptance on the last day of an offer period has the same proportionate entitlement to participate in the offer as a shareholder who properly delivers an acceptance on the first day of an offer period.

Montana says with one of the offers due to be sent to shareholders early next week, it expects to send target company statements out around the end of the month.

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