Equity Trustees (EQT) has stepped up its efforts to merge with The Trust Company (Trust), writing to the latter's shareholders and urging them not to accept Perpetual's counter-offer for Trust and extending its offer period to 31 July.
The letter to shareholders, which opens with the line "Don't sell to Perpetual", is EQT's first response to Trust denying EQT the due diligence access Trust gave to Perpetual after EQT announced a revised offer earlier this month.
In the letter EQT stated that despite many years of both boards considering a merger between EQT and Trust, "disappointingly the board of Trust now recommends a sale of your company to Perpetual".
EQT also stated that the status of the proposed acquisition by Perpetual is unclear, given that it had been referred to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and a shareholder meeting to consider the sale had yet to be set.
The letter also reiterates EQT's view of the deal, stating that Trust shareholders will hold 62 per cent of a merged EQT/Trust entity and that EQT would "continue the fight to secure what is in the best interests of all shareholders — a merger of Trust Company with Equity Trustees".
The extension is the second offered by EQT to Trust, with EQT yet to secure more than 3 per cent of Trust shares.