Trust take-over reignites war of words

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The take-over battle for The Trust Company (Trust) has flared again with a war of words breaking out between Trust and Equity Trustees (EQT). 

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange on Friday, EQT stated Trust was using flawed logic and ignoring facts in rejecting EQT’s revised offer. 

EQT stated the Trust board was focusing on factors other than the long-term benefits for Trust shareholders and was supporting a proposal that offered inferior value to its shareholders. 

EQT chair Tony Killen said in the statement that “the approach taken to valuing EQT’s bid continues to understate the quantum and value of synergies.” 

In the statement, EQT said that Trust’s independent expert had double-discounted the value of EQT’s offer by undervaluing and then discounting the synergies EQT could offer. 

It also claimed this was part of Trust’s flawed logic and ignorance of facts, including that a majority of brokers considered Perpetual’s share price was trading at above price targets. EQT stated that in comparison its share price was not being supported by take-over speculation and was trading relative to its peer group.   

EQT’s offer had appeared to stall back in September when Trust recommended Perpetual’s competing offer, which is set to be voted on at a shareholder’s meeting at the end of this month. 

However EQT lifted its offer for Trust in the middle of last week - which was rejected a day later by Trust, which claimed that an independent analysis found it would offer Trust shareholders a lower final share price.  

As a result of its revised offer, EQT has also extended the offer period from 29 November to 12 December.

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