Only three weeks after Keybridge Capital gave up on Yowie (ASX: YOW) another suitor is bidding for them. Aurora Funds Management yesterday announced a bid for the chocolatier but Yowie’s board have again called on shareholders to ignore or reject any offer.

The Melbourne-based fund manager’s offer is at 9 cents per share, like Keybridge.

Since the abandoning of the Keybridge offer, Yowie appointed a director, Neon Capital executive Tim Kestell. While Yowie’s board noted his success in turning mining companies around, Aurora dismissed the idea he could do the same with the chocolatier.

“Aurora is both surprised and alarmed by this appointment,” it said, noting Kestell’s lack of experience in the Yowie business.

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There is a critical difference to the Keybridge bid. Aurora is offering payment via shares in its Dividend Income Trust fund rather than in cash. If the bid was to continue, it would proceed in mid-July.

While Yowie’s board did not make a formal recommendation, it advised shareholders to take no action until such advice came. Yet chairman Louis Carroll seemed no more open to Aurora’s bid than Keybridge.

“Should a bid be made on the terms outlined by Aurora, the board would recommend shareholders reject the bid. The board considers the unsolicited approach by Aurora to be highly opportunistic,” said Carroll

“The advised bid price of 9 cents per Yowie shares, which will comprise solely of units in an unlisted managed investment scheme, fundamentally undervalues Yowie’s business, brand, intellectual property and significant cash balance.”

Shares in Yowie have remained unchanged this morning.


In other ASX corporate news today

Adriatic Sea focused oil-explorer Global Petroleum (ASX: GBP) announced an Italian court had thrown out an appeal against the granting of an Environmental Decree for the Company’s applications. The licences were granted in 2016 and 2017 but had been appealed several times and now all but one of 12 appeals had been thrown out.

CEO Peter Hill said the appeal rejection vindicated the firm’s view the appeals were without merit. The move comes three months after the Italian government’s 18-month moratorium on oil exploration, including granting permits. Hill also noted: “We observe with interest the developing opposition to the moratorium on exploration activity in Italy.”
After 10 years of service, National Stock Exchange (ASX: NSX) managing director Ann Bowering will depart on July 5. The NSX is an alternative stock exchange to the ASX but is relatively a minnow with only 75 stocks with a market cap of over $2.2 billion.

Bowering has restructured and consolidated the organisation but will leave in six weeks. In the interim, stockbroking manager Matthew Lonergan will act as CEO and a search will be undertaken for a permanent replacement.
Three directors of online-media play Adslot (ASX: ADJ) bought nearly $350,000 in shares between them yesterday. Founder Andrew Dyer bought $175,000, and non-executive directors Adrian Giles and Andrew Barlow bought $50,000 and $123,200.

While the company recently undertook a capital raise, these trades took place on market.