Catalano improves his offer for Keybridge shares

Catalano improves his offer for Keybridge shares

Prominent Australian businessman Antony Catalano (pictured) has increased his bid for 16 million Keybridge (ASX: KBC) shares allegedly "improperly" transferred to Wilson Asset Management Active (ASX: WAA), doubling the premium previously offered.

Catalano now hopes to buy shares back from shareholders who accepted into a takeover offer from investor advocate Geoff Wilson's WAM Active which Keybridge alleges was done in contravention of the Corporations Act.

The improved offer from Keybridge director and businessman Catalano could see him acquire the 16 million shares (representing around 12 per cent of the total shares in Keybridge) from 96 shareholders for 7.1 cents per share.

This is up from a previous offer of 7 cents per share, and doubles the premium from the 6.9 cents per share WAM Active was seeking to offer for these same shares.

In June Keybridge, helmed by notorious corporate raider Nicholas Bolton, launched proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW to rectify the alleged improper transfer of Keybridge shares.

Since then, the impacted shareholders were granted a perpetual right by the Takeovers Panel to obtain back their shares from WAM Active, thus enabling them to sell their shares into the Catalano offer.

If Catalano acquires every share available to him he would increase his shareholding in the company from 10.25 per cent to 22 per cent.

"Keybridge provides no recommendation other than to observe that the offer is superior to the 6.9 cents offered by WAM Active," says Keybridge.

After Catalano first announced his buy-back offer in early June WAM Active labelled the bid as "opportune".

"Mr Catalano's unsolicited offer contains inadequate information regarding the value of KBC, which he is uniquely placed to provide," WAM said.

"WAM Active observes that, if Mr Catalano were to make a bid for the benefit of all KBC shareholders, an independent expert report would be required."

However, just last week, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) greenlit WAM Active's latest attempt to take over Keybridge after a Takeovers Panel proceeding delayed the bid.

Thus, WAM Active's latest takeover bid to acquire all KBC shares for 6.9 cents per share (a 29 per cent premium) can now go ahead, albeit a few months behind schedule.

The upgraded bid from Catalano is the latest move in a long-running game of corporate chess, with Geoff Wilson's WAM Active, Farooq Khan-led Bentley Capital (ASX: BEL) and Aurora Funds Management all vying to take over Bolton's Keybridge.

Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

Business News Australia

Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support

Four ways businesses can use artificial intelligence to triumph in 2022
Partner Content
The last two years have delivered major disruption to the technology industry and broad...
PROS
Advertisement

Related Stories

All smiles: Dental Boutique founders named 2021 Melbourne Young Entrepreneurs of the Year

All smiles: Dental Boutique founders named 2021 Melbourne Young Entrepreneurs of the Year

As founders of Dental Boutique, Dr Reuben Sim and Dr May Chan have ...

Robbie Williams biopic to be filmed in Victoria

Robbie Williams biopic to be filmed in Victoria

Victoria will soon be home to the new Robbie Williams biopic Better...

Aussie Broadband launches $344m bid for Over The Wire

Aussie Broadband launches $344m bid for Over The Wire

One of Brisbane’s Top Companies Over The Wire (ASX: OTW) has ...

Afterpay postpones vote on takeover as Square takes on a new name

Afterpay postpones vote on takeover as Square takes on a new name

Delays from the Bank of Spain in approving a multi-billion takeover...