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Olam gets nearly 86 pct of NZ Farming Systems Uruguay

Friday 1st July 2011

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Singapore's Olam International has failed to get the 90 percent of shares it needs in NZ Farming Systems Uruguay (NZFSU) that would enable it to compulsorily buy the remaining shares.

When the offer closed on Wednesday, Olam's stake in NZFSU had lifted to 85.9 percent, Olam said today.

A group of NZFSU minority shareholders had been urging the rejection of Olam's 70c per share offer, saying the price was too low with NZFSU's net asset value nearer 85c.

Olam launched two takeover bids for NZFSU in the past two years, both at 70c a share.

After the first bid it had almost 78 percent of NZFSU, and announced the second bid, to buy the rest, in April.

Launching the second offer, Olam said NZFSU needed a considerably higher level of capital investment than was previously expected.

In its target company statement, NZFSU pointed out Olam could try to buy another 5 percent of the shares a year after the close of the offer.

If that was enough to take Olam's total holding to 90 percent, it could then compulsorily buy the rest of the shares at an assessed fair value. There could be no assurance that would exceed 70c per share.

The independent adviser's report for the latest offer put the full underlying value of NZFSU shares in a range between 60c and 69c.

In today's statement, Olam said its total investment in NZFSU was $133.8 million.

NZPA



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