AWH extends Lark share buy deadline
Australian Whisky Holdings (AWH) has extended the acceptance period for Lark shareholders to accept its offer to buyout the Tasmanian distillery.
As reported in TheShout in March, AWH announced its intention to acquire the Lark Distillery and made an offer to all shareholders. The company revealed earlier this week that the acceptances of the offer confirmed so far, would increase AWH’s holding in Lark from 48.12 per cent to 97.41 per cent.
In a statement to the ASX about the extension, AWH said: “To enable shareholders of Lark who have not yet accepted the offer to do so, the Board of [AWH] has decided to extend the acceptance period of the offer until Friday 4 May, 2018.”
AWH also said that it will soon call a general meeting which will seek all the requisite regulatory and shareholder approvals.
The offer from AWH stated that existing Lark shareholders may choose to receive either 12,500 AWH shares or $400 for every Lark share they own.
If all Lark shareholders accept the offer then AWH is liable for a cash bill of $10,708,800 or an issuance of 334,650,000 AWH shares or a combination of the two. At the time of issuing the proposal AWH said that given it holds 48.12 per cent of Lark it has not issued a minimum acceptance condition on Lark shareholder and until all acceptances are known, AWH will not know its level of Lark ownership.
In its statement to the ASX about the proposal, AWH stated its rationale for the bid, saying: “As previously announced, [AWH’s] business strategy is to pursue partnerships with selected distilleries in the Australian craft whisky industry. In addition to its existing shareholding in Lark (and indirectly Overeem) in 2017 [AWH] completed its purchase of the business of Nant Distillery, including the premises at the historic Nant Estate in Bothwell, Tasmania. [AWH] has a 12 per cent shareholding in Tasmanian Whisky Producer Redlands Estate Pty Ltd.
“The vision of [AWH] is to have equity holdings, if not ownership, in a number of premium single malt whisky producers in Australia, focusing in particular on Tasmania. [AWH] proposes to accelerate growth in the craft whisky industry ahead of competitors and take a leadership position in the industry.”