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Aust regulator clears Fletcher bid for Crane


Friday 11th February 2011

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Fletcher Building says it has gained clearance from an Australian regulator in its bid for Australian-based plumbing supplies and plastic pipelines maker Crane Group.

Fletcher Building today said it welcomed a decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to not intervene in relation to the proposed acquisition of Crane.

The decision fulfilled a key condition of its off-market takeover offer for all the ordinary shares in Crane that it did not already own, Fletcher Building said.

It now had 18.8% of the total number of Crane shares, with the offer being accepted by shareholdings owned or controlled by Crane's chairman Leo Tutt and managing director Greg Sedgwick.

"This is a very positive sign and we expect many investors will take their lead from their support of the offer," Fletcher Building chief executive Jonathan Ling said.

At the end of January, Fletcher lifted its offer for Crane, to one Fletcher Building share and $A3.50 cash for each Crane share. Crane was also to pay A50c per share as a fully franked special dividend. The total implied value to be received by Crane shareholders including the special dividend was $A10.07 per Crane share.

Shortly after the late morning announcement today, Fletcher Building shares were up 3c to $8.14.

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