1 Nov 2016

Hellaby's report: Aussie offer inadequate

4:31 pm on 1 November 2016

Investment firm Hellaby Holdings has urged shareholders to reject an Australian takeover bid, saying it is too low and undervalues the company.

Car engine, vehicle maintenance, vehicle parts

Hellaby Holdings says its automotive group alone is worth $350 million. Photo: 123RF

Australian-based car parts company Bapcor has made a $322 million offer for Hellaby, at $3.30 a share.

Bapcor wants Hellaby's automotive business to get a foothold in New Zealand. It said it would sell the company's shoe retail (Hannahs and Number One Shoes) and resource sector maintenance divisions.

Hellaby initially dismissed the Bapcor offer as cheap and opportunistic. A report commissioned by Hellaby's independent directors valued the company between $3.60 and $4.12 a share.

In a statement, the directors said they believed the automotive group had "a standalone value of at least $350m".

This excluded the "significant synergies and other benefits" Bapcor would get from a merger of the two businesses.

The directors said the first half result for Hellaby would include a $30m gain from an asset sale. The full year trading profit was expected to be significantly more than last year.

Bapcor previously said Hellaby was an under-performer and there were risks associated with its plan to concentrate on two businesses - automotive services and the resource sector maintenance operation.

Last month, Hellaby's managing director Alan Clarke said the firm's automotive sector was core business and would drive future growth.

The Bapcor offer is open until 20 December.