Bentley backs Wilson's takeover bid for Keybridge

Bentley backs Wilson's takeover bid for Keybridge

Within months of withdrawing a bid to acquire Perth-based Keybridge Capital (ASX: KBC), Wilson Asset Management is at it again at an almost 9 per cent discount to its previous offer.

The Sydney-based investment group led by Geoff Wilson (pictured) has put its hat in the ring to buy all KBC shares at 6.9 cents each, in a move that has garnered support from Farooq Khan's Bentley Capital (ASX: BEL).

Bentley, which owns a bit more than 20 per cent of the KBC shares on offer, has announced it intends to accept the off-market offer from Wilson's WAM Active (ASX: WAA) fund in the absence of a superior proposal.

Meanwhile, Wilson Asset Management owns 22.32 per cent of KBC shares after lifting its stake in June.

In that month Wilson made a bid to buy the rest of KBC at 7.5 cents a share, but in August the offer was withdrawn with claims its terms were breached by Keybridge.

The current offer price might be lower than it was back then, but it is still above the net asset backing of $0.0647 per share reported for August. 

Keybridge is currently in the midst of shareholding meetings today convened by both Bentley and another major investor, Keybridge CEO Nicholas Bolton's Australian Style Group.

Bentley is aiming to oust Australian Style's nominated directors John Patton and Jeremy Kriewaldt, while re-electing its own nominated board members William Johnson and Simon Cato.

At the same time Australian Style, which had a 21.26 per cent stake at the time of last year's annual report, has called a vote to get rid of Johnson and Cato. 

WAM is also seeking to cap Keybridge's aggregate non-executive directors' fees at $100,000 per annum, with a vote on the issue likely to take place at the next annual general meeting (AGM).

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