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F and P Appliances halted pending announcement

Thursday 18th October 2012

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Fisher & Paykel Appliances shares have been halted pending an announcement after an independent evaluation deemed the takeover offer from 20 percent owner Haier of China was too low.

Shares of the Auckland-based manufacturer of fridges, stoves and dishwashers last traded at $1.235, above Haier's $1.20-s-share offer for the rest of the company. The stock has soared 239 percent this year, mostly on the back of Haier's proposal, which was well above the trading price at the time.

The independent valuation report put the shares in a range of between $1.28 and $1.57. Investors such as AMP Capital and Tower said they wouldn't accept the Haier offer though the Chinese firm has already secured agreement from Allan Gray Australia to sell its 17.46 percent holding into the offer, giving it a total of about 37 percent.

Haier effectively rescued F&P Appliances in 2009 when it acquired a 20 percent stake as part of a capital raising that let the company refinance its debt. The local manufacturer got distribution into China as a result of the deal and the ability to further licence its technology.

The cash offer represented a 63 percent premium over F&P Appliances' stock price of 75 cents, before Haier disclosed its interest.

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BusinessDesk.co.nz



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