12 Sep 2012

Haier to offer $1.20 per share for appliance company

7:11 am on 12 September 2012

Haier Group says it will make a cash offer of $1.20 per share for the 80% of Fisher & Paykel Appliances that it does not already own.

The offer is 60% higher than Fisher & Paykel's share price on Friday and a 15% premium on Tuesday's closing price of $1.04.

Haier, which has revenues of $US23 billion and 80,000 employees, says Fisher & Paykel would remain as a stand-alone company led by local management.

It wants to keep the existing development base in New Zealand and retain staff for their technical and operational expertise.

New Zealand or Australian independent directors would stay on the board for at least two years.

Haier director Liang Haishan says Fisher & Paykel's second largest shareholder, Allan Gray Australia, a fund manager, has agreed to accept the proposed offer.

No mention was made of the other two major shareholders ACC and AMP Capital Investors.

The Chinese company says its offer is excellent value, particularly given market volatility and recent economic uncertainty and the competitive nature of the global white goods sector.

It says Fisher & Paykel's independent board supports the offer, as long as the price is within or above the independent adviser's valuation range and there is no better offer.

Haier expects to send the offer to shareholders within 14 - 30 days.