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AUS: Lion tries to tempt Coopers – report

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Lion Nathan has removed two conditions of its takeover bid for Coopers Brewery, according to press reports. The waiver has failed to placate Coopers' directors in the increasingly bitter battle for control of the independent brewer.

Australian Associated Press said today (1 December) that Lion Nathan has withdrawn a condition that it be allowed to appoint a representative to the Coopers board for every 15% of Coopers' total shares it acquires. The company has also removed a condition that there be "no occurrence or announcement that would be likely to have a material and adverse effect on Coopers".

Lion's chief executive, Rob Murray, was cited by the press agency as saying that the offer was now subject only to "standard regulatory conditions.

"It is now clearly in the best interests of all Coopers shareholders for the board of Coopers to recommend Lion Nathan's offer," he said.

Coopers managing director, Tim Cooper, dismissed the move, telling the news agency: "Lion Nathan is also holding in reserve a number of technical conditions that it knows Coopers cannot fulfil.

"By not dropping the share buyback condition, Lion Nathan demonstrates that it is still trying to restrict the liquidity options available to the majority of shareholders," Dr Cooper said.

Coopers' shareholders are scheduled to have two emergency general meetings on 7 December, to vote on removing Lion Nathan's rights to buy Coopers' shares and on a proposed share buyback by Coopers at A$260 per share.


Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Lion Nathan

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