Select Harvests to reject UAE takeover bid

almonds bagSelect Harvests shares have gone nuts after the Australian almond farmer was subject of a $430.6 million takeover proposal by an Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund.

The ASX-listed producer said on Monday it received the $5.85 cash per share offer from Mubadala Investment Company on September 19, but that it would not progress a bid that it said significantly undervalued the company.

Select Harvest said it would not open its books to Mubadala, citing regulatory concerns, disruption, costs and an unreasonable request for exclusivity. It said it had not heard back from Mubadala since the board batted away the bid, but acknowledged that a revised offer was possible.

Shares in Select Harvest came out of a two-day trading halt on Monday following a $65 million capital raising, and climbed as much as 27 per cent before ending the day $1.07, or 25.5 per cent, higher at $5.27.

Select Harvest carried net debt of $145.8 million into 2017 after the $26.4 million purchase of Jubilee Orchards, orchard development costs and other project expenditure. Its $65 million raising – comprising a $45 million institutional placement and $20 million share purchase plan – will be used to reduce debt.

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