Ridley rejects offer from GrainCorp

10-06-2008 | |

Australian compound feed manufacturer Ridley Corporation is campaigning against GrainCorp’s hostile takeover offer, saying it is miserly and opportunistic.

GrainCorp’s offer in a share exchange valued Ridley’s shares at AU$ 1.39 when
it was made on May 16, or at AU$1.25 last Thursday just before the Bidder’s
Statement was lodged.

Ridley’s major shareholder, Investors Mutual, has
already made an agreement with GrainCorp that would deliver 19% of Ridley
shares.

Ridley chairman John Keniry said they could offer shareholders
better value by pursuing the restructure announced after a recent strategic
review.

He said the offer undervalued Ridley shares and would expose
shareholders to the vagaries of fluctuating wheat harvests, which had recently
been affected by drought.
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US-part also for sale
Ridley had
also decided to sell its North American interests, and “discovered” surplus land
worth about AU$80 million, which would be valued at 27¢ a share.

In the
Bidder’s Statement, GrainCorp chairman Don Taylor said the offer for Ridley was
“consistent with GrainCorp’s vision to be Australasia’s leading handler and
supplier of agriproducts and bulk products”.

According to GrainCorp, a
merged entity would have a market capitalisation of more than $1
billion.

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