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Clayton Utz advised Wattyl as bidding war raged

Clayton Utz advised Wattyl as bidding war raged

Clayton Utz is advising Australia's biggest paints business Wattyl Limited on its proposed acquisition by major American coatings manufacturer The Valspar Corporation.

CLAYTON Utz is advising Australia's biggest paints business Wattyl Limited on its proposed acquisition by major American coatings manufacturer The Valspar Corporation.

Clayton Utz national M&A practice head John Elliott is leading the firm's team advising Wattyl in its negotiations with Valspar.

But things have not been completely smooth sailing for the lawyers involved. A takeover war was set to erupt this week as Dutch giant Akzo Nobel looked set to make a rival bid.

Institutional investors on 28 June bought up Wattyl shares on expectation that Akzo Novel and even US paint manufacturer rival PPG were poised to trump the $142 million offer from the US-based Valspar Corporation.

Wattyl’s board, meanwhile, decided to recommend the Valspar bid.

Shares in Wattyl soared after the company exited a trading halt, climing 28.57 per cent to close at $1.62. It was the biggest trading day for Wattyl since March last year.

Wattyl chairman John Ingram said the deal with Valspar would enable shareholders to realise cash for their shares at a major premium to recent trading levels.

Commenting on the deal, Clayton Utz’s Elliott said: "It continues a trend of ‘agreed’ deals that have been occurring in recent times. This demonstrates the relative certainty (of a recommendation) that Boards can achieve in approaching prospective targets with a willingness to pay a significant premium."

Under the proposed scheme of arrangement, Wattyl shareholders will receive A$1.67 per fully paid share, valuing the transaction at approximately A$142 million.

Subject to obtaining the necessary approvals, Valspar should move to

outright control of Wattyl by late September.

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Clayton Utz advised Wattyl as bidding war raged
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