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‘Business as usual’ following foreign acquisition

‘Business as usual’ following foreign acquisition


A Japanese company has entered an agreement to acquire an Australian staffing and maintenance outfit.

Firms: Ashurst (Programmed Maintenance Services Limited); Allen & Overy (PERSOL)

Deal: PERSOL entered an agreement to acquire Programmed Maintenance Services Limited (Programmed).

Value: Approximately $792 million

Area: M&A

Key players: The Ashurst team advising Programmed was led by partner Antonella Pacitti (pictured), with support from partner Roger Davies.

Deal significance: Programmed, an ASX-listed staffing and maintenance services provider, has entered a scheme implementation deed, pursuant to which PERSOL will acquire 100 per cent of Programmed’s issued capital by way of a scheme of arrangement.

PERSOL, formerly known as Temp Holdings, is a large Japanese staffing company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Programmed shareholders will receive $3.02 per share, a premium of 68 per cent on the company’s closing share price on 13 July, the day before the acquisition was announced.

Programmed’s board unanimously recommended the acquisition. The company noted in an ASX announcement that the deal would give it a platform to expand its maintenance and facility management operations into Asia.

“We consider that the offer price of $3.02 per share fairly reflects the considerable value PERSOL places on our strategic plan, the capability of Programmed people to deliver it, and our strong market positions,” said Programmed chairman Bruce Brook.

PERSOL has made it clear that it intends to work with the Programmed management team to support and invest in delivering Programmed’s current growth strategy.

“We are pleased that our managing director/CEO Chris Sutherland and other senior management have committed to continue with the business, and customers can be assured it will be business as usual if shareholders support the scheme and it is ultimately implemented.”

Ashurst lead partner Antonella Pacitti said, “We are very proud of our long-standing relationship with Programmed, and are delighted to be working together on this significant transaction. We look forward to continuing to work with the Programmed team through to implementation and beyond.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed on October 2017.

Pictured: Ashurst partner Antonella Pacitti

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