/ 29 September 2008

Bidvest says to reconsider Nampak bid

South African services group Bidvest said on Monday it will reconsider its R9-billion bid for Nampak after the packaging company said its offer for 25% of its shares was too low.

Bidvest said it believed Nampak’s announcement on Friday about the offer contained information that may have a material adverse change on Nampak, and said it needed to evaluate the announcement.

”Bidvest draws the attention of shareholders to the suspensive condition to the pro-rata offer which relates to there being no material adverse change in either market conditions or the financial position of Nampak,” it said in a statement.

”Once the evaluation is complete, Bidvest will decide whether to proceed with the pro-rata offer at the price, or at all,” Bidvest said.

Nampak said on Friday Bidvest’s offer of one Bidvest share for every 7,5 Nampak shares valued the packaging firm at an 8,9% discount to its closing share price before the bid. It was also less than the 30-, 60- and 90-day volume weighted average price before the offer was made on September 4, Nampak said.

It said the Bidvest bid could be bad for shareholders because it would dilute earnings and concentrate its shareholder base, which would decrease liquidity and could hit its shares.

Nampak said it had a three-year strategic plan of its own to boost earnings, which includes generating cash by selling some under-performing and non-core businesses — it did not specify which ones — and turning other struggling units around. —