16 Mar 2012

Stock and Share Trading makes lowball offer

7:19 am on 16 March 2012

PGG Wrightson and Rural Equities are urging their shareholders to reject offers from an Australian businessman who wants to buy their shares for less than the market price.

The low ball offers are being made by Stock and Share Trading, whose sole director and shareholder, John Armour, was warned by the Financial Markets Authority last year over similar approaches.

Both PGG Wrightson (PGW) and Rural Equities say they are frustrated that their shareholders are the target of yet another unsolicited approach by Stock and Share Trading.

The company is offering to pay 35 cents a share for every PGW share, which is a 12.5% discount on Thursday's closing price.

PGW says it appears smaller shareholders are being targeted by Stock and Trading and some have accepted the low-ball offer, though it won't say how many.

Last month, the Australian company successfully approached several Rural Equities investors, offering $2.30 a share, a third less than the market price.

Last year, the Financial Markets Authority ordered Stock and Share Trading to include a warning at the beginning of any future offers that spells out the offer price and compares it to the share price, at the time of closing.

The warning is included in the current PGW and Rural Equities offers, but the companies say it's frustrating there's nothing else they can do to ensure their shareholders are not taken advantage of.