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Coopers deal still brewing

Coopers Brewery directors again rejected Lion Nathan’s takeover bid and encouraged its shareholders to do the same, after the company revised its offer last week. Coopers has engaged Piper Alder

Coopers Brewery directors again rejected Lion Nathan’s takeover bid and encouraged its shareholders to do the same, after the company revised its offer last week.

Coopers has engaged Piper Alderman for the litigation aspects and Allens Arthur Robinson for the corporate aspects. Mallesons Stephen Jaques is acting for Lion Nathan.

Despite Lion Nathan upping its price from $260 to $310 a share, a statement released by the directors said the offer still failed to address issues raised in the initial target’s statement and was still conditional. The statement said Coopers’ growth could be compromised if Lion Nathan became a significant shareholder.

Lion Nathan increased its offer after the Federal Court ruled that Coopers could hold an extraordinary meeting at which shareholders would vote on measures that would block Lion Nathan’s bid. The aim of the vote was to remove Lion Nathan’s third-tier pre-emptive right to buy shares.

However, late last Friday the Takeovers Panel ruled that Coopers’ target’s statement contained “materially misleading information”, that would require correction before the vote could take place.

Coopers was to still hold its annual meeting in Adelaide on Tuesday, but it was expected that the vote would be delayed until 7 December.

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