Villa World board greenlights takeover by AVID

Villa World board greenlights takeover by AVID

The board of Gold Coast property mainstay Villa World (ASX: VLW) has recommended a revised takeover proposal by AVID Property Group, which now values the company at around $293.5 million.

In March, Villa World first received the unsolicited takeover offer which valued the company at $280 million.

After consideration on the revised proposition, the board is now ready to unanimously back the takeover opportunity which represents a 17.8 per cent premium to VLW's closing share price of $1.99 on 14 March.

The company says it has granted AVID access to due diligence and the proposal remains subject to a few including negotiation and execution of a scheme implementation agreement.

"The directors of Villa World intend to unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the revised proposal, at the increased offer price of $2.345 per share," says the company in a statement to the market.

"[The recommendation is] subject to the parties entering into a binding scheme implementation agreement on terms consistent with the revised proposal and other market standard items, in the absence of a superior proposal, and subject to an independent expert concluding that the revised proposal is in the best interests of Villa World."

When AVID Property group made its initial takeover offer in March, Villa World's biggest investor, Singapore's Ho Bee Land, upped its stake in the company by two per cent to 9.41 per cent.

AVID Property Group, which was spun off the Investa empire, already has a $3 billion development pipeline and is looking to expand its operations through the acquisition of the residential-focussed Villa World.

In its indicative proposal, AVID stated that Villa World's exposure to greenfield growth corridors on Australia's east coast fits well with its strategic ambitions to expand its existing platform and that it views the two platforms as being highly complementary.

Despite a residential downturn, Villa World has remained a strong performer in the market.

At the first half of FY19 it announced a $17.6 million after tax profit, despite sales being down significantly from the previous corresponding period.

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