Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Lempriere completes takeover of WSI

Melbourne-based Lempriere group is now the owner of New Zealand Wool Services International (WSI).

The acquisition was settled on March 5, with the payment of 45c a share made to shareholders accepting the takeover offer.

Lempriere has sent a notice to other shareholders compulsorily acquiring their shares. This involved 4.18 million shares, 6.064% of all share on issue.

In a letter to those shareholders, Lempriere said if the forms were returned by March 25 they would be paid within seven days. If there was not a response within 28 days, the money for the shares would be paid to WSI, to be held in trust until it was claimed by the shareholder.

WSI will be delisting from the NZX, where it has traded on the NZAX board for several years.

WSI chairman Derek Kirke expects Lempriere to sit down soon with the current board to talk over the next steps. There had been no board changes at time of writing.

The outcome of the takeover offer had been as the company expected and hoped, Kirke said.

“I know there are still farmers disappointed that they have not been able to retain ownership but with the number of shares held in receivership that was unlikely to happen.’’

Two companies associated with the collapsed South Canterbury Finance business, Plum Duff Ltd and Woolpak Holdings, both in receivership, had owned a total 64.34% of the WSI shares.

Lempriere negotiated a pre-bid lock-up deal with the Plum Duff/Woolpak receivers to buy those shares and also had pre-bid agreements with WSI executives who owned shares in their company.

Kirke was confident WSI would go from strength to strength in the ownership of the Lempriere wool group.

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