By Ian Neubauer

Lion Nathan announced today (Apr 27) its board has agreed to key terms under which its majority shareholder Kirin Holdings would acquire the remaining 54 per cent of the company’s shares for $12.22 per share.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, values Lion at $6.5 billion and represents a 32 per cent premium on the company’s share price of $8.31 before the takeover bid was made public on Wednesday evening (Apr 22).

“We believe this is a very attractive outcome for Lion Nathan’s non-Kirin shareholders. It is a compelling offer at a significant premium to Lion Nathan’s share price,” said Lion Nathan chairman, Geoff Ricketts.

“The company has provided strong shareholder returns over the last few years… It implies a total shareholder return of 338 per cent compared to 101 per cent for the Australian Securities Exchange S&P 200 over the same period.”

If approved, the deal will see Kirin merge together $10 billion of assets in the Australian F&B sector, including its recently acquired National Foods and Dairy Farmers businesses.

Lion CEO Rob Murray will reportedly head the enlarged group, with the brewer taking centre stage in Kirin’s Asia Pacific growth strategy. It will also create new employment opportunities for existing management and people across the group.

Lion Nathan shares were trading at $11.62 at 4:00pm today.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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