Aust Whisky says Lark takeover isn’t material because no one has accepted yet
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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Australian Whisky Holdings says the first takeover offer it’s made since taking over the troubled Tassie Nant distillery was not material information for its shareholders.
Aus Whisky (ASX:AWY) was taken to task by the ASX for announcing its intention to buy the privately held Lark distillery in Tasmania — via a sentence in its half-year report in February.
It followed up five days later with a full announcement saying it was offering 12,500 of its shares or $400 for every Lark share.
Aus Whiskey said the offer wasn’t material information until Lark shareholders began to accept it — and they haven’t begun to do so yet — therefore “in that regard, is an incomplete proposal or negotiation”.
“Until it is known whether those Lark shareholders have accepted the offer, it is impossible to gauge the likelihood that the offer will make a significant impact on the company’s shareholding in Lark,” Australian Whisky Holdings said.
Since the offer was distributed only to Lark shareholders and Lark is a private company, “the offer would not be relevant to anyone but a Lark shareholder”, Aus Whiskey said.
Aus Whisky tried to buy Lark at the end of 2016 for 310,000 shares for every Lark share, making the offer worth $419. Through that bid it managed to lift its stake in the company from 38.49 per cent to 48.12 per cent.
It remained silent on its desire for control of Lark until February.
The company says statements made in 2017 “indicating that the company is in an investment phase of its whisky growth strategy” should have been fair warning.
Australian Whisky Holdings shares dropped almost 2 per cent on Wednesday morning to 5.3c.
The company has been contacted for comment.