Sep 042013

MANILA, Philippines – The local unit of Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya Corp. has extended anew its P2-billion offer to take over a British luxury car distributor.

The longer tender offer period will allow Berjaya Philippines Inc. to buy more stocks from shareholders, the company said.

“The issuer extended the offer period for a further 14 days or until Sept. 16,” Berjaya Philippines said in a regulatory filing.

As of Sept. 2, Berjaya Philippines received shareholders’ approval to buy 90,195 shares representing around 0.38 percent of the issued stocks of London-based car distributor H.R. Owen, or just 0.54 percent of shares subject to the tender offer.

“The offer price remains unchanged in connection with the extension,” Berjaya Philippines said.

Under the terms of the tender offer, Berjaya Philippines wants to buy out other stakeholders for 130 pence per share for a total transaction value of 32.5 million pounds (around P2.25 billion).

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The first takeover offer attempt took place on July 29 to Aug. 19 but H.R. Owen management rejected the buyout, claiming Berjaya Philippines undervalued the company’s shares. Berjaya Philippines then extended the tender offer to Sept. 2.

In June, Berjaya Philippines expanded its car dealership business by acquiring 29.81 percent of H.R. Owen for P540.36 million as a long-term investment in line with its diversification strategy.

H.R. Owen is involved both sales and after-sales of brands like Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Mini, Pagani and Rolls-Royce, predominantly in London.

Its first venture into car dealership is through Mazda, becoming the sole distributor of its vehicles, parts and accessories in the Philippines.

In May, Berjaya Philippines bought 2.38 percent of the common shares, convertible debts and warrants of Redtone International Berhad, an information technology firm listed in Kuala Lumpur stock exchange Bursa, for P275.68 million.

In February, Berjaya Philippines spent more than $7.48 million to buy two percent of Atlan Holdings Berhad, a property firm and duty-free retailer in Malaysia. The listed company is also holding Atlan’s shares as a near term investment.

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