NZ takeover panel throws meeting in Toll’s path

<p>Toll Holdings takeover bid for Tranz Rail has hit another obstacle after New Zealand’s takeovers panel said it would examine Toll’s deal with the government for breaches of the takeover code.</p> <p>The panel will meet on Monday, August 4, to decide whether the deal, which would allow the Crown to buy back the rail network in return for investment, breaches the code.</p> <p>The meeting follows a request from Tranz Rail shareholder Infratil.</p> <p>It will look at code 38, which is concerned with defensive tactics by the director of a code company that has received a takeover offer, the Takeover Panel said.</p> <p>Infratil has alleged that the exclusive nature of the Toll-government agreement could result in another offer being frustrated or deny shareholders the opportunity to decide on the merits of an offer.</p> <p>"The panel considers that Toll, by entering into the Agreement with the Crown, may not have complied, may not be complying or may intend not to comply with rule 38 of the code," the panel stated.</p> <p>It said it would not issue any restraining orders in relation to Toll’s current offer for Tranz Rail.</p> <p>The takeover panel decision is the second hiccup for Toll this week, coming after Grant Samuel’s evaluation that NZ95 cents a share was not enough.</p> <p>Toll’s managing director Paul Little, told said yesterday (Wednesday, July 30) that the company could walk away from the offer. </p> <br />