Wilson lowers takeover offer for Keybridge

Wilson lowers takeover offer for Keybridge

Wilson Asset Management fund WAM Active (ASX: WAA) has lowered its takeover bid for Keybridge Capital (ASX: KBC), just a week after Nicholas Bolton's Australian Style Group upped the ante in its fight for control of the embattled investment vehicle.

Wilson, Australian Style and Farooq Khan's Bentley Capital (ASX: BEL) each hold around a fifth of the listed company, which owns a varied assortment of assets ranging from New Zealand life insurance to oil company Molopo Energy (ASX:MPO) to confectionery outfit Yowie Group (ASX:YOW).

Bentley gave its blessing to a 6.9 cents per share takeover bid from Wilson in October, even though in June it had offered 7.5 cents per share. 

On Friday the bar was lowered further, with Wilson cutting the figure to 6.5 cents citing problems such as board uncertainty, excessive operating expenses and significant corporate governance issues.

Wilson, led by Geoff Wilson (pictured), believes its offer is attractive as it brings "certainty of value" considering the lack of liquidity for the stock and the continued erosion of shareholder value.

"The Offer Price represents a premium of 7.3 per cent to KBC's unaudited aftertax net tangible asset backing (NTA) as at 31 October 2019, the last reported NTA prior to the date of this Bidder's Statement," Wilson said.

"The Offer Price is compelling given KBC has historically traded at a discount to NTA."

The Sydney-based fund intends to buy at least 50.1 per cent of Keybridge, which would be worth $5.5 million at the new offer price. 

In response Bentley is now considering its options.

"Bentley confirms that it is still desirous of exiting its 31.7 million shareholding in Keybridge at 6.9 cents per share," the company said in a statement today.

"However, it proposes to review the final despatched version of the WAM Bidder's Statement and Keybridge's Target Statement in response, before confirming its intentions in relation to the new lower Offer."

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