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Partial takeover launched for Tourism Holdings

Friday 15th April 2011

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Ballylinch LP, a limited partnership registered in this country, is launching a partial takeover offer for Tourism Holdings.

Tourism Holdings advised shareholders not to sell until the offer was evaluated.

Ballylinch today said it already owned 19.14% of the ordinary shares in Tourism Holdings, and intended to make a partial takeover offer to acquire 40.85% of the ordinary shares and redeemable shares that it did not own.

It was offering 67.5c for each ordinary share, which was a 12.5% premium to yesterday's Tourism Holdings closing price of 60c and a 13.9% premium to the one-month volume weighted average price.

Tourism Holdings' share price has ranged between $1 and 55c in the past year.

The offer document said the Ballylinch bid was for 33.03% of all Tourism Holdings ordinary shares.

If the offer was successful, Ballylinch would hold and control more than 50% of the voting rights of Tourism Holdings. The offer closes on June 30, unless extended.

John Grace, director of the general partner of Ballylinch, said the offer would provide it with the ability to further invest in Tourism Holdings.

"I have been a supporter of THL (Tourism Holdings Ltd) for many years and in these difficult times believe that a company as important as THL in an industry that is as important to New Zealand should have a stable cornerstone shareholder," Grace said.

Smaller shareholders, many of whom may hold uneconomic or small parcels, would have the opportunity to sell their shares at a premium price without incurring brokerage costs.

Tourism Holdings chairman Keith Smith said the company would issue a target company statement including an independent appraisal report.

Directors recommended that Tourism Holdings shareholders wait for the target company statement before making any decision on the offer.

Tourism Holdings provides holiday rental vehicles in Australia and New Zealand under the Maui, Britz, Backpacker and Explore More brands. Most of the vehicles are provided by its manufacturing company Ci Munro. Other assets include operations at Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

For the six months to the end of December Tourism Holdings reported a loss of $1.3 million, with revenue down 8% from a year earlier to $84.9 million.

The company also reported a sharp fall in European bookings in January and February, saying it believed natural disasters in Australia, along with the reports about those events, had affected the perception of Australia and this country as travel destinations.



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