by Max Mason.
Wilson Asset Management chairman Geoff Wilson is pulling up stumps on his campaign for a higher offer for Macquarie Media after Nine secured the holding it needs to sweep up the rest of the radio broadcaster.
On Friday, Mr Wilson, whose fund owns 4.7 per cent of Macquarie, accepted Nine’s $1.46 per share deal. It comes after adman John Singleton and venture capitalist Mark Carnegie sold their stakes to Nine, taking the deal through the 90 per cent threshold it needs to compulsorily acquire the rest of Macquarie’s shares.
To take the matter further, Mr Wilson would need to have either gone to court or the takeovers panel.
By accepting Nine’s offer before Monday’s 7pm deadline, Mr Wilson will get his payment earlier than if he held onto the shares and waited for compulsory acquisition.
Mr Wilson is still adamant the deal undervalues Macquarie and was an opportunistic bid by Nine.
“It is disappointing that after John Singleton, Mark Carnegie and Alan Jones accepted the offer and allowed Nine to move to compulsory acquisition we, like all other minority Macquarie Media shareholders, are forced to accept Nine’s offer at a price that we believe greatly undervalues the company,” Mr Wilson said.
Nine declined to comment.
In August, Nine made a $113.9 million offer for the 45.5 per cent of Macquarie it didn’t already own. Nine acquired a 54.5 per cent stake in the radio broadcaster following its merger with Fairfax Media, which it completed in December 2018.
The offer value is greater than 10 times Macquarie’s $27.1 million in underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for financial 2019.
The WAM chairman has been highly critical of Macquarie’s independent directors and the independent expert’s report which declared Nine’s offer fair and reasonable.