9 Oct 2012

Lobby may canvass takeover bid for 'iconic' company

7:14 am on 9 October 2012

Some retail investors in Fisher & Paykel Appliances want to meet to discuss a $870 million takeover bid, and assess whether there's a strong appetite to sell.

Last week Fisher & Paykel Appliances rejected the $1.20 a share offer from Chinese whiteware giant Haier for its business, saying the bid was too low.

But the Shareholders' Association is still considering whether to convene meetings on behalf of investors, saying those shareholders are torn between the offer and the known appliance maker's improving prospects.

The association has been strongly advising shareholders to carefully read the independent report and target company statements.

Association chairperson John Hawkins says it's done some polling amongst its members, and interest in favour of a meeting is running at about three to one.

Mr Hawkins says it's now seeking feedback from investors who aren't members.

It is unusual for such a meeting to take place, he says.

"Some shareholders are saying that because this is an iconic company, they want to try and get the right decision ... whether there is a strong move towards selling or not selling".

His own members were in favour of a meeting, at a ratio of two or three people supporting the proposal, compared to each person not in favour.

A decision on whether a meeting will go ahead is expected later this week and, if it does, it is likely to take place in Auckland.