13 Sep 2012

Haier may have to increase offer

8:51 am on 13 September 2012

Haier may have to raise its offer if it wants to get secure full control of Fisher & Paykel Appliances.

FPA's largest shareholder has offered $1.20 per share, valuing the company at $870 million.

Haier, which has a 20% stake in Fisher & Paykel Appliances, says the bid is more than reasonable.

The next biggest shareholder, Allan Gray, an Australian investment firm, holds 17%.

Haier spokesperson John Walsh said Haier has not yet secured the support of ACC, which holds 7.5%, or AMP Capital Investors.

Nevertheless, AMP Capital Investors deputy head John Phipps says it's an offer that should be taken seriously.

"We're delighted that Haier recognises the value that we feel now exists within F & P and a lot of that value has been created by the existing management team who should be congratulated for the effort over the last few years."

Broking and investment house Forsyth Barr says the offer of $1.20 per share is a good start, but it's bottom of the range.

Milford Asset Management executive director Brian Gaynor believes Haier will have to raise the stakes.

He said if there is resistance from other major shareholders it will only be on the basis of price and Haier may be forced to increase the price to maybe around $1.30.

Other offers?

Fisher & Paykel Appliances has told shareholders to do nothing until an appraisal report on the bid is done, but notes it's been approached by other parties interested in acquiring certain divisions.

Forsyth Barr said that while it does not expect a rival bid, it is possible.

Mr Gaynor is also unsure another offer will emerge.

But he said the deal could be scuppered if a rival bought a 10.5% stake, which would stop Haier getting full control.

Mr Gaynor said there is a very small possibility that another manufacturer, such as Whirlpool which has a contractual arrangement with Fisher & Paykel Appliances regarding componentry, would put some barriers in place to prevent Haier gaining full control.

Haier says the offer should be sent to shareholders in the next month.