By Simon Evans
The Kerry Stokes-controlled Seven Group Holdings tightened its grip on takeover target Boral on the final day of a takeover offer that has resulted in it owning two-thirds of the $8 billion building products group without paying a premium.
Fund managers say Seven Group comprehensively outplayed the Boral board over the past 11 weeks to secure control of one of Australia’s oldest industrial companies, first established in 1946 as Bitumen and Oil Refineries Australia Limited.
Seven Group chief executive Ryan Stokes is expected to become Boral chairman in an imminent board shake-up, with existing chair Kathryn Fagg to step down. Seven Group has consistently stated throughout the takeover period it intended to keep a majority of independent directors on the Boral board. The company will remain listed on the ASX.
John Ayoub, portfolio manager with Wilson Asset Management’s $1.3 billion WAM Leaders fund, said the Seven Group had been very shrewd and tactically outmanoeuvred Boral.
“They have outplayed Boral, they’ve outsmarted them,” Mr Ayoub said.
“They’ve used Boral’s balance sheet to take over themselves. All credit to Seven.”
Read more in Australian Financial Review.