By Nick Stride
Friday 1st August 2003
|Text too small?|
Mainfreight managing director Don Braid yesterday conceded his company's $1.03 a share offer was prompted at least partly by the prospect of Australian giant Toll owning Tranz Rail.
"It's defensive in some respects, bringing both businesses to bear to prevail in terms of the New Zealand transport industry," Mr Braid said.
"I don't know that it's specifically to address that [Toll's market entry] but it does assist that process."
Mainfreight's announcement said the offer included the 750,000 options held by the Owens chief executive David Ritchie.
Two months ago the company bought a 10.1% Owens stake from Owens family members for 96c a share, giving it a stake big enough to block any Toll takeover.
The two trucking companies are concerned Toll, with a market capitalisation of more than $2 billion, will dominate the industry if its Tranz Rail bid is successful.
The combined market capitalisation of the two companies is less than $160 million.
Owens is particularly vulnerable.
It lost $636,000 last year after reporting a 2002 profit of $3.2 million.
The shares haven't traded above $1 since June last year.
The market surveillance panel said the bid will "likely" require approval from Mainfreight shareholders as its value will exceed 50% of Mainfreight's average market capitalisation.
No comments yet
NZ dollar becalmed on US-China trade/politics nexus
Govt to pull Infrastructure Commission into Auckland port imbroglio
Wind to displace diesel for Stewart Island power
Eroad's five year target: doubling unit sales
Blinky boxes and gobbledegook: tips for choosing a cyber-security vendor
Govt support for NZME/Stuff merger difficult, not impossible, says Jarden
NZ dollar stalled; US-China trade signals remain mixed
Ryman warns NZ, Australia to take population ageing more seriously
MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall as US-China trade concerns weigh on markets; Ryman slips
NZ dollar stalled; US-China trade deal may be postponed