Xenith merger vote delayed after ACCC decision

Xenith merger vote delayed after ACCC decision

Xenith IP Group (ASX: XIP) has stood by its recommendation for a merger with QANTM Intellectual Property (ASX:XIP), but a vote on the proposal has been postponed for "later date" after a game-changing decision yesterday from the competition watchdog.

Unsolicited suitor IPH (ASX: IPH) has been aggressively attempting to displace QANTM and acquire Xenith, which had previously cited clearance risk from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as one of its reasons to oppose an IPH deal.

That concern is out the window now the ACCC has given IPH the all clear, resolving a "major uncertainty" according to Xenith.

But the Xenith board still believes a deal with QANTM would bring better value as, unlike in the IPH proposal, control of the future company would be shared with expectations shareholders could benefit from future earnings accretion.

Nonetheless, the company's leaders are giving shareholders a chance to reassess ahead of a vote which was initially due to take place on 3 April. Those who have already voted will be given an opportunity to reconsider.

"Xenith shareholders will be provided with supplementary information prior to the XIP/QIP Scheme Meeting, including material concerning the proposal of IPH Limited to acquire Xenith," the company said.

Last night QANTM reiterated the "compelling value" of a XIP/QIP deal as a merger of equals, adding short-term price fluctuations did not reflect its underlying value.

"Short term share prices can be influenced by factors (including speculation) unrelated to the underlying performance and strength of the QANTM and Xenith businesses, and selective use of a closing price at a point in time does not give the fairest indication of value," QANTM said in its response."

XIP shares dropped 1.05 per cent this morning to $1.89, IPH shares fell slightly by 0.56 per cent to $7.09 and QIP shares held steady. 

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