The independent directors of Century Australia Investments have announced that their company has entered into an agreement with WAM Leaders under which 100 per cent of Century shares will acquired by WAM, subject to shareholders’ approval.
Under the terms of the deal, the number of new WAM Leaders shares which would be issued to each Century shareholder would be calculated by reference to the relative pre-tax net tangible assets (NTA) backing per share of Century and WAM Leaders, the company said.
According to Century’s directors, the proposed scheme would create a single listed investment company (LIC) with a larger capital and shareholder base under the same investment manager with no substantive changes to existing management arrangements in place.
Additionally, the new merged entity would be expected to have net assets of approximately over $885 million, more than 18,000 shareholders and was expected to provide shareholders with access to greater liquidity in the trading of their shares.
Additionally, the merged entity would benefit from:
- A reduced management expense ratio of approximately at least 0.25 per cent per annum as a result of the removal of duplicated expenses between the two companies,
- A share price trading at or near the company’s pre-tax NTA determined by trading on the ASX which would have greater liquidity,
- A history of paying fully franked dividends to shareholders.
At the same time, Century’s portfolio would not substantially change, the directors said.
“The independent directors believe the scheme is in the best interest of Century shareholders and intend to vote their own Century shares in favour of the proposal,” the statement issued to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) said.