Australian car dealer AP Eagers offers to buy rival Automotive Holdings

Photo: Reuters

Aussie car dealer AP Eagers Ltd made an all-stock offer on Friday to buy smaller rival Automotive Holdings Group Ltd that valued the latter at A$635.3 million ($451.83 million), sending Automotive’s shares nearly 17 percent higher.

The bid comes at a time when consumer spending has been a major concern and could prompt some consolidation in the retail automotive sector.

Automotive Holdings in February had reported a loss for the first half due to tough retail conditions. New vehicle sales in Australia fell by about 7 percent in March from a year earlier, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

AP Eagers, which is Automotive’s biggest shareholder, offered 1 share of the company for every 3.8 Automotive Holdings shares owned, or $1.92 per share, based on its Thursday close.

The offer represents a premium of about 8 percent to Automotive’s Thursday close.

Automotive’s shares jumped as much as 16.9 percent, their best in 10 years, to a one-month high and were up 15.2 percent at A$2.05 as of 0331 GMT.

AP Eagers Chief Executive Martin Ward said the deal would put the combined group in a better place “to respond to the rapidly evolving motor vehicle retailing market.”

The company expects the acquisition to deliver annual cost savings of about A$13.5 million, he added.

AP Eagers said the chances of a possible rival bid were low given its existing 28.84 percent stake in Automotive Holdings.

Automotive confirmed the bid, and advised shareholders to take no action.

Shares in AP Eagers gained as much as 7.4 percent, in a weaker broader market.

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Reuters

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.