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E-commerce

Trade Me acquisition one step closer to approval

New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has given its consent to the acquisition of Trade Me Group Limited by Titan, a New Zealand company owned by private equity fund, Apax IX Fund.

The consent means Titan is one step closer to acquiring 100 per cent of Trade Me shares for $6.24 per share via a Scheme of Arrangement (NZ$6.45).

Trade Me announced in December 2018 that it had entered into a Scheme of Implementation Agreement (SIA) with Titan. This was subject to a number of conditions, including consent from the OIO.

Now that consent has been received, the remaining conditions are approval of the Scheme of Arrangement by Trade Me’s shareholders and approval by the High Court.

Shareholders are set to vote on the matter at a special meeting to be held on 3 April 2019. A scheme booklet is expected to be sent to shareholders by 19 March, so they can assess the merits of the offer before voting.

Should the vote go through, and all necessary conditions are satisfied, the scheme is expected to be implemented on or around the 8 May 2019.

The Trade Me board are unanimously recommending that shareholders approve the scheme, unless a superior offer emerges.

Titan’s offer of $6.24 per share is above a recent independent valuation of Trade Me’s shares at between $5.74 to $6.18 per share (NZ$5.93 to NZ$6.39).

“Titan’s receipt of OIO consent is an important milestone in the progress of the scheme and we’re pleased that this consent has been received in advance of the special shareholder meeting,” Trade Me chairman, David Kirk, said.

This story originally appeared on sister-site Inside Retail New Zealand. 

Author: Heather McIlvaine

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