Source - RNS
RNS Number : 4470R
Laird PLC
14 June 2018
 

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN, INTO OR FROM ANY JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OF SUCH JURISDICTION

14 June 2018

RECOMMENDED CASH ACQUISITION

of

Laird PLC ("Laird")
by

AI Ladder Limited ("Bidco")
a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of funds managed by
Advent International Corporation ("Advent")

Bidco Offer Receives Regulatory Approvals and Updates to Scheme Timetable

On 1 March 2018, Laird and Bidco announced that they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition by Bidco of Laird's entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital (the "Acquisition"). The Acquisition is to be effected by means of a Court approved scheme of arrangement under Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006 (the "Scheme").

The Acquisition is subject to the Conditions set out in Part III of the Scheme Document, including the receipt of the relevant clearances from the competition authorities in the United States, the EU and China.

Laird and Bidco announce that:

1.   on 30 March 2018, the Federal Trade Commission confirmed the request for early termination of the waiting period under the United States Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976;

2.   on 25 May 2018, the European Commission cleared unconditionally the Acquisition under the EU Merger Regulation following its Phase I simplified review and declared it compatible with the common market; and

3.   on 14 June 2018, a formal notice of clearance in respect of the Acquisition was received from the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation approving the Acquisition,

thereby satisfying all of the Conditions to the Acquisition relating to merger control.

Next steps and timetable

The Scheme remains subject to the sanction of it by the Court at the Court Hearing (scheduled to take place on 27 June 2018), the delivery of a copy of the Court Order to the Registrar of Companies and the satisfaction (or, where applicable, the waiver) of the other Conditions to the Scheme (as set out in the Scheme Document). Subject to the Scheme receiving the sanction of the Court, the delivery of a copy of the Court Order to the Registrar of Companies and the satisfaction or, where applicable, the waiver of the other Conditions, the Scheme is expected to become effective on 29 June 2018.

The expected timetable of principal events for the implementation of the Scheme is set out below. In accordance with Appendix 7, paragraph 6 of the City Code, the time for the suspension of the listing of and dealings in Laird Shares has been changed from 6.00 p.m. on the first Business Day following the Court Hearing to 7.30 a.m. on the second Business Day following the Court Hearing. If any additional changes to the key dates and/or times set out in the timetable are made, Laird and Bidco will give notice of this change by issuing an announcement through a Regulatory Information Service and by making such announcement available on Laird's website at www.laird-plc.com.

Event

Expected time/date(1)

Court Hearing

27 June 2018

Last day of dealings in, and for registration of transfers of, and disablement in CREST of, Laird Shares

28 June 2018

Scheme Record Time

8.00 p.m. on 28 June 2018

Suspension of listing of and dealings in Laird Shares

7.30 a.m. on 29 June 2018

Effective Date of the Scheme

29 June 2018

Cancellation of listing of Laird Shares

By 8.00 a.m. on 2 July 2018

Latest date for dispatch of cheques/settlement through CREST

13 July 2018

(1)           All times shown are London time unless otherwise stated.

 

Share transfer by Kevin Dangerfield

Laird and Bidco further announce that, on 14 June 2018, Kevin Dangerfield, the Chief Financial Officer of Laird, transferred 31,500 Laird Shares previously held in his name and subject to an irrevocable undertaking to his spouse, Fiona Robertson.  Bidco has consented to the transfer of these Laird Shares.

Capitalised terms used but not defined in this announcement have the meanings given to them in the scheme document published on 23 March 2018 containing the full terms and conditions of the acquisition by Bidco of the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Laird (the "Scheme Document").

 

Enquiries:

Laird


Tony Quinlan, Chief Executive Officer

Kevin Dangerfield, Chief Financial Officer

 

+44 (0) 20 7468 4040

Rothschild (Lead Financial Adviser to Laird)


Ravi Gupta

Charles Montgomerie

Charles Spencer

 

+44 (0) 20 7280 5000

J.P. Morgan Cazenove (Financial Adviser and Corporate Broker to Laird)


Michael Wentworth-Stanley

Richard Perelman

Adam Laursen

 

+44 (0) 20 7742 4000

Numis (Financial Adviser and Corporate Broker to Laird)


Simon Willis
Stuart Ord
Jamie Loughborough

 

+44 (0) 20 7260 1000

Media Enquiries: MHP Communications (Financial PR Adviser to Laird)


Reg Hoare
Tim Rowntree
Ollie Hoare

 

+44 (0) 20 3128 8100

[email protected]

Bidco

Advent

(FTI Consulting)


Fergus Wheeler
Louisa Feltes

+44 (0) 20 3727 1522
+44 (0) 20 3727 1166

 

Citigroup (Financial Adviser to Bidco and Advent)


Jan Skarbek

Robert Jurd

David Fudge

Christopher Wren (Corporate Broking)

 

 

+44 (0) 20 7986 4000

Goldman Sachs International (Financial Adviser to Bidco and Advent)


Nick Harper

Antonio Gatti

Eduard van Wyk

 

+44 (0) 20 7774 1000

Important Notices

Citigroup Global Markets Limited ("Citigroup"), which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, is acting exclusively as financial adviser to Bidco and Advent and no one else in connection with the Acquisition and shall not be responsible to anyone other than Bidco and Advent for providing the protections afforded to clients of Citigroup nor for providing advice in connection with the Acquisition or any matter referred to in this announcement.

Goldman Sachs International, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority in the United Kingdom, is acting exclusively for Bidco and Advent and no one else in connection with the Acquisition and will not be responsible to anyone other than Bidco and Advent for providing the protections afforded to clients of Goldman Sachs International or for providing advice in connection with the Acquisition or in this announcement or any transaction or arrangement referred to herein.

J.P. Morgan Securities plc, which conducts its United Kingdom investment banking business as J.P. Morgan Cazenove ("J.P. Morgan Cazenove"), is authorised in the United Kingdom by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. J.P. Morgan Cazenove is acting as financial adviser and corporate broker exclusively for Laird and no one else in connection with the Acquisition and will not regard any other person as its client in relation to the Acquisition and will not be responsible to anyone other than Laird for providing the protections afforded to clients of J.P. Morgan Cazenove, nor for providing advice in relation to any matter referred to in this announcement.

N.M. Rothschild & Sons Limited ("Rothschild"), which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom, is acting exclusively for Laird and for no one else in connection with the Acquisition and will not regard any other person as its client in relation to the Acquisition and will not be responsible to anyone other than Laird for providing the protections afforded to clients of Rothschild, nor for providing advice in relation to any matter referred to in this announcement.

Numis Securities Limited ("Numis"), which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority, is acting as financial adviser and corporate broker exclusively for Laird and no one else in connection with this announcement. In connection with such matters, Numis will not regard any other person as their client, nor will it be responsible to any person other than Laird for providing the protections afforded to clients of Numis or for providing advice in relation to the contents of this announcement or any other matter referred to herein. Neither Numis nor any of its affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct, indirect, consequential, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Numis in connection with this announcement, any statement contained herein or otherwise.

This announcement is for information purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or an invitation to purchase any securities or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, pursuant to the Acquisition or otherwise. The Acquisition shall be made solely by means of the Scheme Document or any document by which the Acquisition is made which shall contain the full terms and Conditions of the Acquisition, including details of how to vote in respect of the Acquisition.

This announcement has been prepared for the purpose of complying with English law and the Takeover Code and the information disclosed may not be the same as that which would have been disclosed if this announcement had been prepared in accordance with the laws of jurisdictions outside the United Kingdom.

Laird and Bidco urge Laird Shareholders to read the Scheme Document because it contains important information relating to the Acquisition.

Overseas Shareholders

The release, publication or distribution of this announcement in jurisdictions other than the United Kingdom or the United States may be restricted by law. Persons who are not resident in the United Kingdom or the United States or who are subject to other jurisdictions should inform themselves of, and observe, any applicable requirements.

Unless otherwise determined by Bidco or required by the Takeover Code, and permitted by applicable law and regulation, the Acquisition shall not be made available, directly or indirectly, in, into or from a Restricted Jurisdiction where to do so would violate the laws in that jurisdiction and no person may vote in favour of the Acquisition by any such use, means, instrumentality or form within a Restricted Jurisdiction or any other jurisdiction if to do so would constitute a violation of the laws of that jurisdiction. Accordingly, copies of this announcement and all documents relating to the Acquisition are not being, and must not be, directly or indirectly, mailed or otherwise forwarded, distributed or sent in, into or from a Restricted Jurisdiction where to do so would violate the laws in that jurisdiction, and persons receiving this announcement and all documents relating to the Acquisition (including custodians, nominees and trustees) must not mail or otherwise distribute or send them in, into or from such jurisdictions where to do so would violate the laws in that jurisdiction.

The availability of the Acquisition to Laird Shareholders who are not resident in the United Kingdom (and, in particular, their ability to vote their Laird Shares with respect to the Scheme at the Court Meeting, or to appoint another person as proxy to vote at the Court Meeting on their behalf) may be affected by the laws of the relevant jurisdictions in which they are resident. Persons who are not resident in the United Kingdom should inform themselves of, and observe, any applicable requirements, as any failure to comply with such requirements may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, the companies and persons involved in the Acquisition disclaim any responsibility or liability for the violation of such restrictions by any person.

The Acquisition shall be subject to the applicable requirements of the Takeover Code, the Panel, the London Stock Exchange, the Financial Conduct Authority and the UKLA. Further details in relation to Overseas Shareholders will be contained in the Scheme Document.

This announcement does not constitute a prospectus or prospectus equivalent document.

Additional Information for US Investors 

The Acquisition is being made to acquire the securities of an English company by means of a scheme of arrangement provided for under the law of England and Wales. A transaction effected by means of a scheme of arrangement is not subject to the tender offer rules under the US Exchange Act. Accordingly, the Scheme will be subject to disclosure requirements and practices applicable in the United Kingdom to schemes of arrangement, which are different from the disclosure requirements of the US tender offer rules. The financial information included in this announcement and the Scheme documentation has been or will have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards and thus may not be comparable to financial information of US companies or companies whose financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the US. If Bidco were to elect to implement the Acquisition by means of a takeover offer, such takeover offer would be made in compliance with applicable US laws and regulations, including Section 14(e) of the US Exchange Act and Regulation 14E thereunder. Such a takeover would be made in the United States by Bidco and no one else.

The receipt of cash pursuant to the Acquisition by a US holder as consideration for the transfer of its Laird Shares pursuant to the Scheme will likely be a taxable transaction for United States federal income tax purposes and under applicable United States state and local, as well as foreign and other, tax laws. Each Laird Shareholder is urged to consult his independent professional adviser immediately regarding the tax consequences of the Acquisition applicable to him.

It may be difficult for US holders to enforce their rights and claims arising out of the US federal securities laws, since Bidco and Laird are located in countries other than the US, and some or all of their officers and directors may be residents of countries other than the US. US holders may not be able to sue a non-US company or its officers or directors in a non-US court for violations of US securities laws. Further, it may be difficult to compel a non-US company and its affiliates to subject themselves to a US court's judgement.

In accordance with normal UK practice and pursuant to Rule 14e-5(b) of the US Exchange Act, Bidco, certain affiliated companies and the nominees or brokers (acting as agents) may make certain purchases of, or arrangements to purchase, shares in Laird outside of the US, other than pursuant to the Acquisition, until the date on which the Acquisition and/or Scheme becomes effective, lapses or is otherwise withdrawn. Also, in accordance with Rule 14e-5(b) of the US Exchange Act, each of Citigroup and Goldman Sachs International will continue to act as an exempt principal trader in Laird Shares on the London Stock Exchange. If such purchases or arrangements to purchase were to be made they would occur either in the open market at prevailing prices or in private transactions at negotiated prices and comply with applicable law, including the US Exchange Act. Any information about such purchases or arrangements to purchase will be disclosed as required in the United Kingdom, will be reported to a Regulatory Information Service and will be available on the London Stock Exchange website at www.londonstockexchange.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This announcement (including information incorporated by reference in this announcement), oral statements made regarding the Acquisition, and other information published by Advent, Bidco or Laird contain statements about Bidco and Laird that are or may be deemed to be forward looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement may be forward looking statements. Without limitation, any statements preceded or followed by or that include the words "targets", "plans", "believes", "expects", "aims", "intends", "will", "may", "anticipates", "estimates", "projects" or words or terms of similar substance or the negative thereof, are forward looking statements. Forward looking statements include statements relating to the following: (i) future capital expenditures, expenses, revenues, earnings, synergies, economic performance, indebtedness, financial condition, dividend policy, losses and future prospects; (ii) business and management strategies and the expansion and growth of Bidco's or Laird's operations and potential synergies resulting from the Acquisition; and (iii) the effects of government regulation on Bidco's or Laird's business.

Such forward looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect expected results and are based on certain key assumptions. Many factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or implied in any forward looking statements, including: increased competition, the loss of or damage to one or more key customer relationships, changes to customer ordering patterns, delays in obtaining customer approvals for engineering or price level changes, the failure of one or more key suppliers, the outcome of business or industry restructuring, the outcome of any litigation, changes in economic conditions, currency fluctuations, changes in interest and tax rates, changes in raw material or energy market prices, changes in laws, regulations or regulatory policies, developments in legal or public policy doctrines, technological developments, the failure to retain key management, or the timing and success of future acquisition opportunities or major investment projects. Due to such uncertainties and risks, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Bidco disclaims any obligation to update any forward looking or other statements contained herein, except as required by applicable law.

No Profit Forecasts or Estimates

No statement in this announcement is intended as a profit forecast or estimate for any period and no statement in this announcement should be interpreted to mean that earnings or earnings per share for Laird for the current or future financial years would necessarily match or exceed the historical published earnings or earnings per share for Laird.

Disclosure Requirements of the Takeover Code

Under Rule 8.3(a) of the Takeover Code, any person who is interested in 1 per cent. or more of any class of relevant securities of an offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror (being any offeror other than an offeror in respect of which it has been announced that its offer is, or is likely to be, solely in cash) must make an Opening Position Disclosure following the commencement of the offer period and, if later, following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified. An Opening Position Disclosure must contain details of the person's interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror(s). An Opening Position Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(a) applies must be made by no later than 3.30 p.m. (London time) on the 10th business day following the commencement of the offer period and, if appropriate, by no later than 3.30 p.m. (London time) on the 10th business day following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified. Relevant persons who deal in the relevant securities of the offeree company or of a securities exchange offeror prior to the deadline for making an Opening Position Disclosure must instead make a Dealing Disclosure.

Under Rule 8.3(b) of the Takeover Code, any person who is, or becomes, interested in 1 per cent. or more of any class of relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror must make a Dealing Disclosure if the person deals in any relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror. A Dealing Disclosure must contain details of the dealing concerned and of the person's interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror, save to the extent that these details have previously been disclosed under Rule 8. A Dealing Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(b) applies must be made by no later than 3.30 p.m. (London time) on the business day following the date of the relevant dealing.

If two or more persons act together pursuant to an agreement or understanding, whether formal or informal, to acquire or control an interest in relevant securities of an offeree company or a securities exchange offeror, they will be deemed to be a single person for the purpose of Rule 8.3.

Opening Position Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company and by any offeror and Dealing Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company, by any offeror and by any persons acting in concert with any of them (see Rules 8.1, 8.2 and 8.4).

Details of the offeree and offeror companies in respect of whose relevant securities Opening Position Disclosures and Dealing Disclosures must be made can be found in the Disclosure Table on the Panel's website at http://www.thetakeoverpanel.org.uk/, including details of the number of relevant securities in issue, when the offer period commenced and when any offeror was first identified. If you are in any doubt as to whether you are required to make an Opening Position Disclosure or a Dealing Disclosure, you should contact the Panel's Market Surveillance Unit on +44 (0)20 7638 0129.

Electronic Communications

Please be aware that addresses, electronic addresses and certain information provided by Laird Shareholders, persons with information rights and other relevant persons for the receipt of communications from Laird may be provided to Bidco during the offer period as requested under Section 4 of Appendix 4 of the Takeover Code to comply with Rule 2.11(c) of the Takeover Code.

Publication on Website and Availability of Hard Copies

A copy of this announcement shall be made available subject to certain restrictions relating to persons resident in Restricted Jurisdictions on Laird's website at www.laird-plc.com by no later than 12 noon (London time) on 15 June. For the avoidance of doubt, the contents of this website are not incorporated into and do not form part of this announcement.

You may request a hard copy of this announcement by contacting Bill Warner, the Deputy Company Secretary of Laird, on +44 (0) 20 7468 4040. You may also request that all future documents, announcements and information to be sent to you in relation to the Acquisition should be in hard copy form. 

 

 


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.rns.com.
 
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