The Takeovers Panel has put a stop to John Bridgeman Ltd’s takeover of Henry Morgan Ltd and Benjamin Hornigold Ltd, citing unacceptable circumstances.
It has issued interim orders, telling JBL to stop processing acceptances received under each bid. It says it is considering its final orders.
John Bridgeman Ltd, an investment management company led by CEO Stuart McAuliffe and listed on the National Stock Exchange, launched scrip bids for Henry Morgan and Benjamin Hornigold.
Henry Morgan and Benjamin Hornigold are investment companies listed on the ASX. Stuart McAuliffe chairs both companies, and both have investment management arrangements with John Bridgeman.
The Takeovers Panel says the bidder’s statements did not adequately disclose information material to the acceptance of the bids, including the various relationships and transactions between the parties.
It has some other concerns. In relation to the Benjamin Hornigold bid, loan arrangemnets “diminished the value of important assets of BHD, making BHD less attractive t an acquirer and less likely to attract competing proposals.”
The parties failed to promptly correct the misrepresentation of conditions of the voting director’s recommendation in the bidder’s statements.
All three companies are named after famous pirates. The two ASX-listed companies have been the subject of multiple queries by the ASX and have had lengthy trading suspensions.
McAuliffe, a Bond University lecturer, once enjoyed support among investors in the companies but that support appears to have faded, as the applications to the Takeovers Panel indicate.