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Fletcher's Crane bid unconditional, urges minorities accept

Thursday 17th March 2011

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Fletcher Building has dropped the all-or-nothing condition on its bid for Australian plumbing supplies and plastic pipelines maker Crane Group and is moving to take control of the board, having amassed a 57% holding from the ongoing bid.

The New Zealand based building firm today waived a 90% minimum acceptance condition together with all other outstanding conditions and declared the bid unconditional.

It said it intends to appoint a majority of Fletcher Building nominee directors to the Crane board as soon as possible. Under a takeover bid implementation agreement Fletcher Building has the right to appoint two directors to replace existing directors and it can appoint a third director to replace an existing director when it pays shareholders who accepted as at March 17. The board has six members, according to the company's website.

The bid is open to March 25, and Fletcher Building intends to extend the offer closing date to March 31.

The new board appointees are David Worley and Paul Zuckerman. Worley is the chief executive of The Laminex Group, while Zuckerman is the chief executive of Fletcher Building's steel division.

Fletcher Building strongly encouraged all remaining shareholders to accept its "attractive" offer.

It said that shareholders who did not accept should consider the potential adverse consequences of being a minority shareholder in a company controlled by Fletcher Building.

The Crane share price may fall once the offer closes, and Crane's shares are likely to become less liquid.

It also said payment is dispatched within seven days.



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