New Montana hearing announced

New Montana hearing announced News Wine News
  • Friday 20 July 2001

A probe into Allied Domecq was launched yesterday in the long-drawn-out battle for New Zealand winemaker Montana – but the British drinks giant says its takeover bid won't be affected.

The New Zealand Stock Exchange will listen to accusations made by Australian brewer – and rival bidder – Lion Nathan that Allied violated rules when buying Montana shares in May.

Allied, with a stake of around 27%, has put in an offer for Montana at NZ$4.80 (US$1.97) a share but the NZSE hearing on 18 August doesn't concern them. 'We are confident the hearing will not go against us – our offer could have been accepted by then,' Allied spokeswoman Jane Mussared told decanter.com.

Lion, which holds 63% of Montana, was recently ordered to reduce its stake by 19% after it breached NZSE rules when buying shares in February.

Lion made a new offer for 11 percent of Montana at NZ$5.50 (US$2.26) a share and planned another offer at NZ$3.70 (US$1.52) a share for the remainder. But its single offer with two different prices was not allowed under new takeover rules introduced on 1 July.

Allied's offer is conditional on firstly securing more than 50% of Montana, in compliance with takeover rules.

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