Monday 20. June, 2016

Australia’s Takeover Panel Rules on Ainsworth Vote

Australia’s takeover panel has concluded an investigation and has found that in order to prevent any conflict of interest, the wife of Len Ainsworth, will not vote on his proposed sale of stake in the company he founded, Ainsworth Game Technology.

Last month, a question was brought forward about the conflict of interest that would result if Len Ainsworth’s wife, Gretel, voted on the sale. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Fortress Investment Group hedge fund moved to block his relatives from taking part in the vote and voting in favour of the acquisition deal.

Ainsworth is looking to sell his majority stake in the company to Novomatic for A$473 million. His wife, Gretel, owns 8.96 percent of the company and their son, Stephen Ainsworth, owns 0.02 percent.

Ainsworth is looking to sell 51.81 percent of his 53 percent majority stake, which together with his wife’s stake would leave them with a total of 10.15 percent stake in the company.

“This could represent a blocking stake for the purposes of Chapter 6A of the Corporations Act 2001, meaning that the likelihood of a takeover may be reduced,” read a statement from Ainsworth Game Technology.

In order for the deal to be closed, more than 50 percent of the minority stakeholders must vote in favour of the sale. The vote is scheduled to take place no sooner than June 27. Ainsworth and Novomatic agreed that Novomatic will buy the stake at A$2.75 per share.

Now that the takeover panel has ruled according to the request of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Fortress Investment Group and Gretel and their son Stephen will not be voting, no conflict of interest is apparent and the vote can go through when planned.

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