Vinz tells shareholders to reject offer

TIM HUNTER
Last updated 17:34 22/01/2013

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Uncertainty caused by the Government's review of the vehicle warrant of fitness system was behind an "opportunistic" takeover bid for Vehicle Inspection New Zealand, its chairman said today.

In a letter to shareholders, Vinz chairman Kenneth Worsley advised them to reject an offer from Japanese-owned business Jevic NZ.

The offer of $1.65 a share was inadequate, he said, after an independent report from Simmons Corporate Finance assessed the value of VINZ shares at $1.77 to $3.70.

"The directors consider that the offer from Jevic is opportunistic, taking advantage of the uncertainty caused by the [vehicle licence review] process," wrote Worsley.

Any change were unlikely to happen before mid-2014 and VINZ would have ample time to adjust, he said.

Vinz - not to be confused with rival vehicle tester VTNZ, owned by the Motor Trade Association - is a small private sector business whose shares trade on the Unlisted market. 

The most recent market price of Vinz shares was $1.50, valuing the company at $3.75 million.

In the letter, Worsley noted that an associate of Jevic, Brent Whale, had paid $2.50 a share in buying a 12.9 per cent strategic stake.

"That indicates to directors that a fair price for control of Vinz would be well in excess of the offer price of $1.65 a share."

Whale's purchase was funded by Jevic.

In an emailed statement, Jevic chief executive Euan Philpot said the company would review the Vinz target company statement before making a response. 

Vehicle licensing reforms being considered include reducing the frequency of car Warrant of Fitness inspections. The Government was due announce its plans last month but the decision is now expected later this year.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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