Jevic ready for VINZ takeover

CLAIRE ROGERS
Last updated 14:56 04/02/2013

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Multinational vehicle inspection company Jevic reports it has reached the minimum acceptance level for its takeover offer of Vehicle Inspection New Zealand.

Shareholders holding more than 65 per cent of the company have accepted its revised offer, lifting it above the 50 per cent threshold needed to acquire all of VINZ under the Takeovers Code.

Jevic New Zealand made a revised offer of $2.15 a share, after VINZ said its initial $1.65 offer was too low and an independent report from Simmons Corporate Finance assessed the value of VINZ shares at $1.77 to $3.70.

VINZ shares trade on the unlisted market, and last traded at $1.50.

In a statement, Jevic said all VINZ directors were selling their shares, and the VINZ board recommended shareholders accept the revised offer.

Jevic said the board had confirmed that vehicle licensing reform would reduce the size of the warrant of fitness and certificate of fitness markets, and open the way for new entrants – negatively impacting its business.

The licensing changes will mean that from next year cars registered since the year 2000 will only have to be warranted once, rather than twice, a year.

Jevic chief executive Euan Philpot said it was pleased at the rate shareholders were accepting the offer.

‘‘The support of the VINZ board and the Government’s announcement of changes to vehicle licensing reform have combined to spur VINZ shareholders into action.

‘‘Our target now is to capitalise on the momentum gained over the past week and to achieve acceptance for 100 per cent of VINZ shares.’’

Jevic said several other conditions of the offer had been met or were being addressed. They included reaching an agreement with general manager Frank Willett to stay on if the offer succeeds, and an assurance from the New Zealand Transport Agency that existing VINZ contracts would not be negatively impacted by the takeover.

‘‘Jevic has requested assurances from the VINZ board regarding several other conditions of the offer and has received, in response, a letter which it is now considering.’’

Vinz employs over 150 qualified inspectors, technicians and support staff at three testing stations in Auckland, two in Christchurch, and one each in Hamilton, Palmerston North, Lower Hutt, Nelson, Timaru and Dunedin.

The company inspects, tests, and certifies new and used vehicles to meet Warrant of Fitness and Certificate of Fitness standards as well as performing vehicle appraisals and inspections, exhaust emission testing, driver and vehicle licensing, and road user charge collection.

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Vinz completes entry certification on the New Zealand Transport Agency’s behalf for approximately 40 per cent of vehicles entering the New Zealand fleet.

Jevic’s offer closes on Wednesday, February 13.

- Stuff

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