Tuesday 3 January 2012

Optare Shareholders will vote this week on Ashok Leyland Takeover

Following the proposal by Ashok Leyland to offer Optare a £12million loan, in exchange for tripling their holdings to 75.1% of the group, Optare said it had already received 'irrevocable undertakings' from investors representing 34.7 per cent of shares, including Ashok Leyland, to back the deal.
However, the move requires the backing of shareholders, who will vote at a general meeting on Friday, but Optare could not continue trading if investors vote down the proposals.
Not all shareholders have embraced the move, which would see the Hinduja brothers, owners of Ashok Leyland, pick up the shares  at the equivalent of 0.27p, a discount of 80 per cent on their value the day the plan was announced

One of the firm's top 10 investors said: 'If they gain control at the proposed price it would dilute our holdings. This is another example of overseas businesses seeing value and coming in to buy it up rather cheaply, and that is very frustrating. We are a long-term shareholder and we do not want it to be sold at this time.'

David Gambles