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Methven shareholders vote to approve takeover

Methven shareholders voted to approve a $118 million takeover by Australian kitchenware firm GWA Group.

The offer was via a scheme of arrangement and GWA needed at least 50 percent of shareholders to vote and 75 percent of those voting to be in favor, rather than the 90 percent threshold needed in a formal takeover to enforce mop-up provisions.  Of the votes cast, 98 percent were in favor while 1.99 percent were opposed.

GWA's takeover offer of $1.60 a share was at the top of independent adviser Grant Samuel's valuation range. It was also a 39 percent premium to $1.15 price before the deal was announced. The shares last traded up 0.6 percent at $1.63. 

The scheme already had the backing of Methven's biggest shareholder, Brendan Lindsay of Sistema, who has 19.99 percent and its directors have committed another 2.1 percent in unanimously backing the deal. 

The Scheme remains subject to a number of conditions, including approval by the New Zealand High Court, with the final court hearing being scheduled for March 27.  If approval is given at that final court hearing, Methven shares will be suspended from trading on the NZX Main Board three business days from the date the final orders are issued, expected to be April 1, it said.  

Methven has said GWA has committed to keeping the New Zealand design, innovation and manufacturing base for the enlarged group. That was a crucial element of the deal, it said.

Methven expects implementation of the Scheme to occur on or around April 10, subject to the remaining scheme conditions being satisfied. 

Late last month, Methven lifted first-half earnings 7.9 percent as the tapware maker enjoyed strong sales in the UK and China, although transaction costs from its pending takeover by Australia's GWA weighed on the bottom line.

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