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PRG makes Bendon offer official

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Tuesday 12th February 2002

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Shareholders in lingerie company Bendon (NZSE: BEN) will be receiving formal takeover documents in the mail after retail company Pacific Retail Group (NZSE: PRG) confirmed its $1.90 a share offer for the company.

An intention to make the offer was filed on January 18 and the retail group announced Tuesday that it is proceeding with the bid for 100% of Bendon.

PRG boss, Peter Halkett, says the company has carried out due diligence on Bendon which, together with advice from J B Were, had confirmed its view that $1.90 per share is a fair and reasonable price.

"Our offer is fair, uncomplicated and in the form preferred by the Bendon directors. We are confident that this presents an attractive proposition for Bendon shareholders."

The offer is open until March 11, unless extended, and is conditional on Pacific Retail receiving sufficient acceptances to take its aggregate shareholding in Bendon to greater than 50%. The company already owns 15.5% and has an option on a further 3.55%.

PRG says the price it is offering is significantly in excess of Bendon's weighted average market closing price of $1.76 for the one-month period prior to it becoming a shareholder.

It says it is also higher than the price implied by the offer currently before the Bendon directors from the consortium led by Bendon managing director Hugo Venter and supported by AMP Henderson Global Investors.

In a letter to Bendon shareholders PRG advises that "acceptances of our offer affords you an opportunity to realize your investment in Bendon now, providing certainty of exit and avoiding the issues associated with liquidating a company."

The 50% acceptances threshold is in line with PRG's previous comments that while its preference is to own all of Bendon it would also be "very satisfied anywhere above the minimum threshold of 50% required under the Takeovers Code".

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