Source - LSE Regulatory
RNS Number : 5201K
Alliance Bidco Ltd
12 April 2024
 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 12 April 2024

Disclosure under Rule 2.10(c) of the Takeover Code in respect of the

RECOMMENDED CASH ACQUISITION
OF
GRESHAM TECHNOLOGIES PLC
BY
ALLIANCE BIDCO LTD

(a company owned indirectly by funds managed or advised by STG Partners, LLC ("STG"))

Update on Letter of Intent given by Schroder Investment Management Limited ("Schroders")

On 9 April 2024 the boards of Gresham and Bidco made an announcement pursuant to Rule 2.7 of the Takeover Code (the "Announcement") of a recommended all-cash acquisition pursuant to which Bidco will acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Gresham (the "Acquisition"), intended to be implemented by means of a scheme of arrangement under Part 26 of the Companies Act (the "Scheme").

As set out in section 9 and Appendix 3 of the Announcement, Gresham had received a letter of intent from Schroder Investment Management Limited to vote in favour of the Scheme at the Court Meeting and to vote in favour of the Special Resolution to be proposed at the General Meeting, in respect of a total of 7,735,500 Gresham Shares, representing approximately 9.22 per cent of the issued ordinary share capital of Gresham as at 8 April 2024, being the Latest Practicable Date prior to the Announcement (the "Schroders Letter of Intent").

On 11 April 2024, Schroders confirmed that it made a series of sales of, in aggregate, 4,375,167 Gresham Shares that were subject to the Schroders Letter of Intent (the "11 April Sold Shares"). Schroders informed Bidco that the 11 April Sold Shares comprised Gresham Shares that were subject to the Schroders Letter of Intent.

As a result, following completion of the sale of the sold Shares:

·      the total number of Gresham Shares which are subject to the Schroder Letter of Intent has reduced to 3,360,333 Gresham Shares, representing approximately 4.01 per cent of the issued share capital of Gresham as at close of business on 11 April 2024, being the last business date prior to this announcement; and

·     the total number of Gresham Shares which are subject to irrevocable undertakings and a letter of intent has reduced to 33,722,666 Gresham Shares, representing approximately 40.21 per cent of the issued share capital of Gresham as at close of business on 11 April 2024, being the last business date prior to this announcement.

Unless otherwise defined in this announcement, capitalised words and phrases used in this announcement shall have the same meanings given to them in the Announcement.

 

Enquiries:

Bidco
Marc Bala / Ishan Manaktala / Ben Livingston / Kial Kaiser

Enquiries via William Blair

William Blair International, Limited
(Financial Adviser to STG and Bidco)
Dominic Emery / Hanan Lee / Jakub Lenart / Robert von Martens

+44 (0) 20 7868 4440

Gresham
Ian Manocha / Tom Mullan

+44 (0) 20 7653 0200

Houlihan Lokey Advisory Limited
(Financial Adviser and Rule 3 Adviser to Gresham)
Mark Fisher / Tim Richardson / Elliot Reader / Jack Durston

 

+44 (0) 20 7839 3355

Singer Capital Markets Advisory LLP
(Corporate Broker to Gresham)
Shaun Dobson / Jen Boorer

 

+44 (0) 20 7496 3000

Alma Strategic Communications

(PR Adviser to Gresham)

Josh Royston / Hilary Buchanan / Will Ellis Hancock

 

+44 (0) 20 3405 0205

Important notices relating to financial advisers

William Blair International, Limited ("William Blair"), which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom, is acting exclusively for STG and Bidco and no one else in connection with the subject matter of this Announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than STG and Bidco for providing the protections afforded to the clients of William Blair, or for providing advice in connection with the subject matter of this Announcement. Neither William Blair nor any of its subsidiaries, branches or affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of William Blair in connection with the subject matter of this Announcement, any statement contained herein or otherwise.

 

Houlihan Lokey Advisory Limited ("Houlihan Lokey"), which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom, is acting exclusively as financial adviser and Rule 3 adviser to Gresham and no one else in connection with the matters set out in this Announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Gresham for providing the protections afforded to clients of Houlihan Lokey or for providing advice in relation to matters referred to in this Announcement. Neither Houlihan Lokey nor any of its subsidiaries, branches or affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Houlihan Lokey in connection with this Announcement, any statement contained herein or otherwise.

 

Singer Capital Markets Advisory LLP ("Singer Capital Markets"), which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom, is acting exclusively for Gresham and no-one else in connection with the subject matter of this Announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Gresham for providing the protections afforded to clients of Singer Capital Markets or for providing advice in relation to the subject matter of this Announcement or any other matter referred to in this Announcement.

Each of William Blair, Houlihan Lokey and Singer Capital Markets have given and not withdrawn their consent to the publication of this Announcement with the inclusion herein of the references to their respective names and (where applicable) advice in the form and context in which they appear.

Further information

This Announcement is for information purposes only and is not intended to, and does not, constitute or form part of any offer or inducement to sell or an invitation to purchase, otherwise acquire, subscribe for, sell or otherwise dispose of, any securities or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, any vote or approval in any jurisdiction pursuant to the Acquisition or otherwise. The Acquisition will be implemented solely pursuant to the terms of the Scheme Document (or, if the Acquisition is implemented by way of an Offer, the Offer Document), which will contain the full terms and conditions of the Acquisition, including details of what action is required from Gresham Shareholders in respect of the Acquisition. Any decision in respect of, or other response to, the Acquisition should be made only on the basis of the information in the Scheme Document (or, if the Acquisition is implemented by way of an Offer, the Offer Document).

Gresham and Bidco shall prepare the Scheme Document (or, if the Acquisition is implemented by way of an Offer, the Offer Document) to be distributed to Gresham Shareholders. Gresham and Bidco urge Gresham Shareholders to read the Scheme Document in its entirety (or, if the Acquisition is implemented by way of an Offer, the Offer Document) when it becomes available because it will contain important information relating to the Acquisition including details of how to vote in respect of the Scheme.

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

Bidco reserves the right to elect to implement the Acquisition by way of an Offer as an alternative to the Scheme (subject to the Panel's consent). In such event, the Acquisition will be implemented on substantially the same terms, so far as applicable, as those which will apply to the Scheme, subject to appropriate amendments to reflect, among other things, the change in method of effecting the Acquisition (including, without limitation: (i) the inclusion of an acceptance condition set at 90 per cent. of the Gresham Shares to which such Offer relates (or such other percentage as Bidco may, subject to the rules of the Takeover Code and with the consent of the Panel, decide); and (ii) those required by, or deemed appropriate by, Bidco under applicable law). Further, if sufficient acceptances of such Offer are received and/or sufficient Gresham Shares are otherwise acquired, it is the intention of Bidco to apply the provisions of Chapter 3 of Part 28 of the Companies Act 2006 to acquire compulsorily any outstanding Gresham Shares to which such Offer relates.

If you are in any doubt about the contents of this Announcement or the action you should take, you are recommended to seek your own independent financial advice immediately from your stockbroker, bank manager, solicitor, accountant or independent financial adviser duly authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (as amended) if you are resident in the United Kingdom or, if not, from another appropriately authorised independent financial adviser.

Overseas Shareholders

This Announcement has been prepared in accordance with and for the purpose of complying with the laws of England and Wales, the Takeover Code, the Market Abuse Regulation and the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules and 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 England.

The release, publication or distribution of this Announcement in or into certain jurisdictions other than the United Kingdom may be restricted by law and therefore any persons who are subject to the laws of any jurisdiction other than the United Kingdom should inform themselves of, and observe, any applicable requirements of their jurisdictions.

The availability of the Acquisition to Gresham Shareholders who are not resident in and citizens of the United Kingdom may be affected by the laws and/or regulations of the relevant jurisdictions in which they are located or of which they are citizens. Persons who are not resident in and citizens of the United Kingdom should inform themselves of, and observe, any applicable legal or regulatory requirements of their jurisdictions. In particular, the ability of persons who are not resident in and citizens of the United Kingdom to vote their Scheme Shares with respect to the Scheme at the Court Meeting, or to execute and deliver forms of proxy appointing another person to vote at the Court Meeting on their behalf, may be affected by the laws of the relevant jurisdictions in which they are located or of which they are a citizen. Gresham Shareholders who are in any doubt regarding such matters should consult an appropriate independent financial adviser in their relevant jurisdiction without delay. Any failure to comply with the applicable restrictions 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.

Unless otherwise determined by Bidco or required by the Takeover Code, and permitted by applicable law and regulation, participation in the Acquisition will 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 from 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 any formal documentation 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 any Restricted Jurisdiction and persons receiving this Announcement and all such documents relating to the Acquisition (including, without limitation, agents, custodians, nominees and trustees) must not, directly or indirectly, mail or otherwise forward, distribute or send them in, into or from any Restricted Jurisdiction. Doing so may render invalid any related purported vote in respect of the Acquisition. If the Acquisition is implemented by way of an Offer (unless otherwise permitted by applicable law and regulation), the Offer may not be made directly or indirectly, in or into, or by the use of mails or any means or instrumentality (including, but not limited to, facsimile, e-mail or other electronic transmission, telex or telephone) of interstate or foreign commerce of, or of any facility of a national, state or other securities exchange of, any Restricted Jurisdiction and the Offer may not be capable of acceptance by any such use, means, instrumentality or facilities.

Further details in relation to Overseas Shareholders will be contained in the Scheme Document (or, if the Acquisition is implemented by way of an Offer, the Offer Document).

Notice to US investors in Gresham

Gresham Shareholders in the United States should note that the Acquisition relates to the shares of an English company and is proposed to be made by means of a scheme of arrangement provided for under, and governed by, the laws of England and Wales.

Neither the proxy solicitation nor the tender offer rules under the U.S Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "US Exchange Act") will apply to the Scheme. Moreover, the Scheme will be subject to the disclosure and procedural requirements and practices applicable in the United Kingdom to schemes of arrangement, which differ from the disclosure and procedural requirements of US tender offer and proxy solicitation rules. If, in the future and subject to the consent of the Panel, Bidco exercises the right to implement the Acquisition by way of an Offer and determines to extend the offer into the United States, the Acquisition will be made in compliance with applicable United States laws and regulations, including any applicable exemptions under the US Exchange Act. Such an Offer would be made in the United States by Bidco and no one else. In accordance with normal United Kingdom practice and consistent with Rule 14e-5 under 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 Gresham outside such Offer during the period in which such Offer would remain open for acceptance. If such purchases or arrangements to purchase were to be made they would be made outside the United States either in the open market at prevailing prices or in private transactions at negotiated prices and would comply with applicable law, including, to the extent applicable, the US Exchange Act. Any information about such purchases 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.

The financial information included in this Announcement and the Scheme Document (or, if the Acquisition is implemented by way of an Offer, the Offer Document) has been or will have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles of the United Kingdom and thus may not be comparable to the financial information of US companies or companies whose financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States ("US GAAP"). US GAAP differs in certain significant respects from accounting standards applicable in the United Kingdom. None of the financial information in this document has been audited in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States or the auditing standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States).

Neither the Acquisition nor this Announcement have been approved or disapproved by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, any state securities commission in the United States or any other US regulatory authority, nor have any such authorities passed upon or determined the adequacy

or accuracy of the information contained in this Announcement or the merits of the Acquisition. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offence in the United States.

 

The receipt of consideration by a US holder for the transfer of its Gresham Shares pursuant to the Acquisition may be a taxable transaction for US federal income tax purposes and under applicable US state and local, as well as non-US and other, tax laws. Each Gresham Shareholder is urged to consult their independent professional adviser immediately regarding the tax consequences of the Acquisition applicable to them, including under applicable US federal, state and local, as well as non-US and other, tax laws.

It may be difficult for US holders of Gresham Shares to enforce their rights and any claim arising out of the US federal laws or to enforce against them a judgment of a US court predicated upon the securities laws of the United Kingdom, since Bidco and Gresham are incorporated in a non-US jurisdiction, and some or all of their officers and directors may be residents of countries other than the United States. US holders of Gresham Shares may not be able to sue a non-US company or its officers or directors in a non-US court for violations of the 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 judgment.

Dealing and opening position disclosure requirements

Under Rule 8.3(a) of the Takeover Code, any person who is interested in one 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 one 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 Takeover Panel's website at 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. You should contact the Panel's Market Surveillance Unit on +44 (0)20 7638 0129 if you are in any doubt as to whether you are required to make an Opening Position Disclosure or a Dealing Disclosure.

Publication on a website

In accordance with Rule 26.1 of the Takeover Code, a copy of this Announcement and the documents required to be published under Rule 26 of the Takeover Code will be made available, subject to certain restrictions relating to persons resident in Restricted Jurisdictions, on Gresham's website at www.greshamtech.com/invest-in-us by no later than 12 noon (London time) on the first Business Day following the date of this Announcement. For the avoidance of doubt, neither the contents of this website nor any website accessible from hyperlinks is incorporated into or forms part of this Announcement.

Rounding

Certain figures included in this Announcement have been subjected to rounding adjustments. Accordingly, figures shown for the same category presented in different tables may vary slightly and figures shown as totals in certain tables may not be an arithmetic aggregation of figures that precede them.

 

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