AUSTRALIA: Allied drops out of PLW battle
The UK drinks group Allied Domecq has dropped its attempt to buy the Australian winemaker Peter Lehmann Wines and in doing so opened the door for the Swiss group Hess to pursue its takeover attempt unhindered.
Allied said today that it would sell its 14.5% stake in the Barossa Valley wine maker to Hess Group AG. Allied is the biggest single shareholder in PLW.
The move follows a fortnight of bids and counter bids by the rival drinks groups for PLW. However the balance shifted decidedly in favour of Hess when its bid was preferred by Peter Lehmann's independent directors.
However, it appears that Allied finally decided the bidding was getting a bit rich.
Both companies had offered A$4.00 a share cash, which represented a multiple of 19.8 times Peter Lehmann Wines 2003 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.
Recent wine industry acquisitions have taken place well below this multiple.
Despite its success, Hess is still unlikely to take full control of the company. It already controls 6.2% of the stock but has said it would be happy to be Lehmann's major shareholder and have it remain as a listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange.
The wine maker's founder, Peter Lehmann, has already indicated that he will not sell his remaining 10.5% stake in the company. He has already sold a 5.4% stake to Hess.
Lehmann said: "It's my expectation and my wish that we remain publicly listed. I know lots of my mates have said they will sell, a half, a quarter or other portion of their shares so we'll still have a very healthy publicly listed company."
Lehmann also smoothed over tensions between the company’s independent directors and the family holding which became public at the height of the Allied-Hess battle. “We’re still mates,” said Lehmann.
PLW chairman Richard England said that Allied dropping out the race had simplified the situation.
And in a statement to shareholders the company said: "Shareholders should capitalize on this opportunity to secure a premium value for their Peter Lehmann Wine shares and accept the Hess Offer for all Peter Lehmann Wine shares without delay."
As Pernod Ricard, Allied Domecq and Fortune Brands close in on the biggest drinks industry deal since the sale of Seagram, opinion about how the deal will be structured and who stands to win and lose ...
Cautious optimism is probably the best way to describe today's press reaction to Pernod's friendly bid for Allied Domecq....
Spirits firm Allied Domecq has agreed to a takeover bid from smaller rival Pernod Ricard, subject to agreement from Allied shareholders....
Allied Domecq last night accepted Pernod Ricard's offer to buy the UK-based drinks giant....
Allied Domecq today delivered a 7% increase in first half group profits before tax to £285m. Earnings per share were up 7% to 19.2p, turnover that was flat at £1,700m....
Drinks producer and distributor Todhunter International has said that its controlling shareholder, CL Financial, is interested in acquiring some of the brands of Allied Domecq that may become availabl...
Pernod Ricard has had its rating raised....
Allied Domecq has added a new flavour to its Malibu range. The company said yesterday that it would be launching Malibu Passion Fruit in the US from April 15....
- Whatever happened to binge Britain? - comment
- The dangers of squaring up to your competitor
- The US beer market - A level playing field for all
- Remy Cointreau's Q2 and H1 - preview
- Constellation and Ballast Point's "sticker shock"
- Sidney Frank CEO to head Clooney's import co
- Diageo sells off United Spirits' Bouvet Ladubay
- Diageo Australia appoints commercial head
- Irish whiskey brands could fail without bulk
- A-B InBev to "kick the tyres" at Coca-Cola
- Global sparkling wine insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Future growth opportunities for global spirits
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global Wine Market to 2019 - Market Size, Development, and Forecasts
- Global Wine Market: News and Events September 2015