Agribusiness Webster (ASX:WBA) has received a takeover offer from Canadian pension fund PSP Investments which values the company at $834m.

The deal was priced at $2 per share — a 57.5 per cent premium to Webster’s last closing price.

Shares in the company shot higher as a result, and the stock now leads the market in morning trade.

One of Australia’s largest walnut producers, Webster made a number of strategic acquisitions in recent years to incorporate cotton and water irrigation into its operations.

As part of the deal, PSP — which already holds 19.1 per cent stake in Webster — will purchase all of the ordinary and preference shares in Webster it doesn’t already own, via two subsidiaries.

In a somewhat intricate deal structure, Webster will then transfer some if its assets to a separate PSP entity which will be called KoobaCo.

Two existing Webster shareholders — Belfort Investment Advisors  and Verolot  — will then be given the option to purchase 50.1 per cent of the shares in the new entity.

Two independent directors of the Webster board, David Cushing and Maurice Felizzi — who don’t hold an interest in any of the entities — were asked to review the deal.

The company advised this morning that both directors will advise shareholders to vote in favour of the PSP offer, in the absence of a superior proposal.

Webster has entered into a binding Scheme Implementation Agreement with PSP, with the scheme expected to be finalised by early next year, pending shareholder approval.


In other ASX corporate news today:

Mediland Pharm (ASX:MPH) advised the market late-yesterday that it had completed the three-stage acquisition of Ian’s Health Lounge, a complementary ecommerce business that has operations in China. MPH paid $80,000 to complete the deal. Shares in the company were unchanged at 30 cents.

And payments platform iSignthis (ASX:ISX) released a statement to the market last night, after the ASX had enforced a trading halt on the company “in consultation with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission”. ISX said it is addressing separate queries from ASIC and the ASX and “fully co-operating with regulators”.