AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Patrick fails to tangle Toll offer in rail court hearings

<p>Patrick Corp has failed to slow down Toll Holdings’s renewed bid in time for Patrick’s legal action to break up Pacific National in the Victorian Supreme Court on May 13. </p> <p>The Takeovers Panel ruled yesterday (Sunday, March 26) against Patrick’s claim that Toll’s bid had changed so substantially there should be a completely new set of bidder and target statements. </p> <p>The Toll document, its seventh supplementary statement, will be mailed out today. </p> <p>Toll has now promised to extend the offer to April 28. </p> <p>Toll chief executive Paul Little told ABC Televison’s <em>Inside Business </em> program yesterday that its undertakings to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on asset sales, including its 50% stake in Pacific National, did not materially affect the merger project.</p> <p>Toll wanted to negotiate with the Patrick directors to secure an agreed bid, and he did not believe that other bidders were set to enter the battle for Patrick, he said. </p> <p>Mr Little also said that Toll could now take control of Patrick with 50.1% of the shares, with minority shareholders then under pressure to sell into the bid. </p> <p>Analysts expect more delaying tactics from Patrick to allow more time for other bidders to emerge, and to push up the price. </p> <p>One suggested that Toll would make around $2.20 per Patrick share from asset sales ordered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and suggested that Toll could add another 30 cents in cash to the $1.90 cash element it offered last week. </p> <p>Depending on Toll’s share price, this could take the offer well into the $8 per share range being targeted by the market. </p> <p>Analysts noted that Toll has a history of making gradual concessions to win a bid. </p> <br />