Automotive retail group, Bapcor, has responded to the Hellaby board’s criticism of its takeover bid, asserting it’s underwhelmed by the failure to address the substance of its letter to Hellaby shareholders, criticising Grant Samuel’s valuation of Hellaby in favour of a cursory dismissal and denial.
“Hellaby has not addressed the substance of our criticism,” said Darryl Abotomey, chief executive of Bapcor late last week, in response to a letter to Hellaby shareholders from chairman Steve Smith.
“Hellaby and Grant Samuel have excluded c.$6.6 million pa of Hellaby head office costs from the valuation which has materially overstated the valuation range for Hellaby. That is something that should, in fairness to Hellaby shareholders, be fully explained to them by the Hellaby Board. They have not done so,” Abotomey said.
According to Abotomey, Bapcor’s position is correct, and the Hellaby directors have no response. He said they could not find any good reason to avoid the merit of what was said in their letter.
“We have pointed out to shareholders that it is unusual and, in our view, wrong for Grant Samuel to exclude significant on-going head office costs from its valuation of Hellaby and then propose a much higher valuation range for shareholders to assess Bapcor’s offer price,” he said.
“When Hellaby’s head office costs are included, Bapcor’s offer of $3.30 per share would be within an adjusted range. Accordingly, in our view the Bapcor offer is fair and represents an accurate assessment of the value of Hellaby.
“Of interest, the price of Hellaby shares has declined over recent days and this indicates to us that investors recognise that the Hellaby Board is not being realistic and is risking letting this opportunity for shareholders to realise value from their shares slip from their grasp,” concluded Abotomey.
Smith, in a letter to shareholders released last week, stated a rejection of Bapcor’s views as without merit referring to Bapcor’s criticism of the Grant Samuel Independent Adviser’s report and valuation of Hellaby Holdings Limited.
In his letter, he stated Grant Samuel is a vastly experienced independent expert and has also rejected Bapcor’s views, including the relevance of Bapcor’s references to valuations of other companies under other offers and in differing circumstances.
“Grant Samuel’s opinion is honestly held, independently assessed and reasonably based,” Smith said.