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Montana valuation ambitious - Lion

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 13th December 2000

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Montana (NZSE: MON) suitor Lion Nathan (NZSE: LNN) has described as 'over ambitious' the price range for the wine maker's shares outlined in an appraisal report.

The report by PricewaterhouseCoopers was released yesterday and assessed the fair value of Montana Group at between $4.16 and $4.64 per share. Lion is set to offer between $3.20 and $3.80 per share.

Lion Nathan CFO, Paul Lockey, says his company's initial reaction is that the valuation range is over ambitious.

"We will make a more informed judgment on the report when we have had time to study the contents and conclusions in conjunction with our advisers, Credit Suisse First Boston."

"At that time we will determine what impact the report may have on our decision to acquire up to 51% of the shares in Montana."

Lion Nathan has received Commerce Commission approval to increase its Montana stake and the restricted transfer notice to acquire Montana shares was due to begin this Friday.

However Montana's independent directors - who commissioned the appraisal report - yesterday announced they did not intend to sell their shares in the price range stated by Lion, and recommended that shareholders follow suit.

The directors said their stance also applied to another restricted transfer notice by Masfen Holdings, which has also stated its price range as between $3.20 and $3.80.

The appraisal report said the Lion and Masfen price range is unfair to shareholders.

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