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Time extension for Lion-Montana decision

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Monday 27th November 2000

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The Commerce Commission has asked for more time to consider brewer Lion Nathan's (NZSE: LNN) request for clearance to buy all of wine maker Montana (NZSE: MON).

The decision was due to day but the Commission wants an extra 10 working days to investigate the application, and will now announce a decision at the end of next week.

Lion currently holds holds 28.2% of Montana, having built up its stake since May paying between $2.30 and $2.60 per share.

Lion has not said what price it is prepared to pay for the rest of the shares but market analysts believe it will have to offer above $4.00. Montana shares have been trading this morning at $3.65.

Unlike fellow brewer DB, which recently sold the Corbans wine business to Montana to concentrate on its core brewing business, Lion Nathan is keen to broaden its operating base and wants a wider involvement in the New Zealand liquor market.

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