AUSTRALIA: Lehmann turns on independent directors
The company's chairman, Richard England, along with directors Neil Lister and Harold Tilley, initially backed the Allied Domecq in the absence of a higher offer. But even though they are now backing the improved Hess offer, which matched the A$3.85-a-share being offered by Allied, the preferred choice of Peter Lehmann, the company's founder clearly remains furious about their original decision.
"They have to live with what they have done - I would ignore any of their recommendations," Peter Lehmann said. "I do not anticipate them being associated in that capacity for PLW for very long - I am just disgusted with the three independent directors in the way they have behaved in this manner. The role of the independent director should not be just to get an extra 10-15 cents per share. I would hope they will withdraw with dignity from any of our future deliberations and allow us to carry on."
"(Allied) are still working on the theory I am going to sell, that sooner or later they will find a price where I sell out but I ain't selling more shares than the ones I am selling tomorrow to Hess," Lehmann said, adding a stark warning to shareholders about accepting the Allied bid. "If you accept this offer from Allied you are virtually condoning the destruction of a lifetime's work of Peter Lehmann and his wife and the growers."
LATEST: ALLIED IMPROVES BID TO A$4.00 a share - more soon.
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