National Hire to delist following Seven takeover

By Murray Pollok06 December 2011

Coates Hire is 46.1% owned by National Hire. Private equity firm Carlyle is the other major sharehol

Coates Hire is 46.1% owned by National Hire. Private equity firm Carlyle is the other major shareholder of Coates.

Australia's National Hire - which owns a 46.1% share of Coates Hire - has finally been fully acquired by Seven, the company run by Kerry Stokes.

Seven intends to delist National Hire and there is speculation that Seven and Carlyle Group, which is the other major shareholder of Coates, will now consider either a re-float of Coates Hire or a trade sale.

Seven's acquisition of National Hire was confirmed when shareholder Elph Pty Ltd, owned by Dale Elphinstone, said it had "reluctantly agreed" to accept Seven's offer of A$3.75 per share for its 21.9% stake.

In a letter to National Hire, Mr Elphinstone said that Elph Pty did not want to remain a minority shareholder of National Hire as a delisted entity.

Elph's acceptance of the Seven takeover automatically triggered an increase in the share offer from A$3.35 to A$3.75. Seven's initial offer was A$3.00 per share. Following the announcement, National Hire's shares were trading at A$3.73, giving National Hire a market capitalisation of A$557 million.

Stephen Donnelley, speaking on behalf of National Hire's independent board committee, said "I am pleased that we were able to achieve a price for shareholders in excess of Seven's original offer price. Seven's final offer price of $3.75 is within the Independent Expert's value range and I believe it represents an attractive price for National Hire shares."

Both Kerry Stokes and Dale Elphinstone own Caterpillar dealerships. Mr Stokes' WesTrac is the Caterpillar dealer for Western Australia, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and parts of northern China. Mr Elphinstone's Elph Pty is the ultimate owner of the Cat dealerships in Victoria and Tasmania.

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