US: Constellation v Vincor - it's getting ugly
The ongoing battle between Constellation and takeover target Vincor grows ever fiercer, with Constellation slamming Vincor's board for excluding Constellation from the bidding process.
In a lively conference call today (11 November), Constellation's CEO Richard Sands accused the Canadian company's board of ignoring its shareholders' best interests, by not allowing Constellation access to its company information.
"The exclusion of Constellation from Vincor's process is inconsistent with the board's stated intent to maximise shareholder value," Sands argued.
"They (Vincor's board) are changing the rules (for Constellation). They will not give us access to the information unless we give them a firm offer at a price that we don't know what it is."
On the subject of other parties looking at Vincor's company information while Constellation is being denied, Sands said: "What value is there in excluding Constellation from the process? We want to put our best foot forward before 28 November (the date the bid will expire). It is for the shareholders to judge the best offer we can make on its own merits."
When asked why Constellation doesn't simply up its offer from the current C$31 per share, Sands argued: "Given that we've made an offer, we have to stick with that offer. We've given the board plenty of time to attract other bids. The people looking at this information, they haven't given a price. The board isn't willing to let us have that information so that we can raise our price."
In answer to a question asking whether Constellation was prepared to sign the same confidentiality agreement that the third parties have signed, Sands said: "Yes we are, but we cannot undo our current offer. We are bound by that offer. We're obligated to do certain things under that tender.
"They won't even provide the confidentiality agreement because they're holding us to a higher standard than anyone else."
Sands closed by imploring Vincor shareholders "to do what you can to try to encourage Vincor's board to share its information with us so that we can offer an improved offer."
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