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George Kerr's AEP extends its Pyne Gould Corporation offer for the last time as it reaches 65%

George Kerr's AEP extends its Pyne Gould Corporation offer for the last time as it reaches 65%

George Kerr’s Australasian Equity Partners No. 1 LP has extended its takeover offer for Pyne Gould Corporation (PGC) again, pushing the closing date as his interest in the company tops 65%.

The offer now closes on March 30 and can’t be extended again, Kerr said in a statement to the NZX. He is offering 37 cents a share for the company and is in the process of installing his own directors on the board, which he already sits on himself.

Shares of PGC last traded at 36 cents, valuing the company at NZ$78 million.

Kerr today declared his offer unconditional. He argues the company’s profile has changed since the divestment of its Marac Finance arm, and the remaining assets will take longer to realise. Dividends are unlikely any time soon.

Marac was spun off and merged with CBS Canterbury and Southern Cross Building Society last year to create Heartland NZ, in which Kerr is now the biggest shareholder. Ironically, the Kerr-led PGC takeover gives him control of the dud Marac property development loans that he helped rescue PGC from through a NZ$275 million capital raising in 2009. They were transferred out of Marac before it was spun off by PGC.

At 37c, the AEP offer is well below Grant Samuel's 49c to 57c per share independent valuation of PGC.

Kerr holds 80% of PGC bidder Australasian Private Equity Partners Fund No 1 LP, with the other 20% held by Los Angeles-based "value-focused investor" Baker Street Capital Management. He waived the 90% minimum acceptance condition on the PGC bid on January 31, at which time he also extended the offer till February 15.

- Additional reporting Gareth Vaughan.

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