17 Sep 2012

Fisher and Paykel shareholder says offer too low

7:09 am on 17 September 2012

One of Fisher Paykel Appliances' shareholders says the takeover offer from Chinese whiteware firm Haier is way too low.

Haier is the New Zealand listed whiteware company's largest shareholder and has offered $1.20 a share, valuing the company at $870 million.

Fund manager Tower Investments holds a 3.7% stake in Fisher Paykel Appliances.

Chief executive Sam Stubbs says the price offered may be appropriate for a New Zealand-wide business, but Haier would be able to take the innovative technology Fisher Paykel provides, and make it available on a global scale.

"If you took that technology and you put it into a very, very large scale company, and you saw the money that you could make from that - which is what I'm sure Haier are seeing - you can see that this is worth considerably more than the current share price."

He says Haier needs to raise the stakes because Fisher Paykel is "iconic" in New Zealand. "There are relatively few companies in New Zealand which are genuinely the best in the world at what they do, and Fisher and Paykel clearly are one of those companies."

Its research and development of spectacular technology in direct-drive motors and fridge compressors is world-leading and part of the "corporate DNA", he says.

"At $1.20 ... what we think Haier are doing is valuing it against the New Zealand stockmarket. You have to take it out of the New Zealand context."

Mr Stubbs says the valuation range has to start at a minimum of $1.50.

Mr Stubbs says Haier would need to increase its offer significantly before Tower Investments would consider selling.