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Link ‘unable to recommend’ revised takeover bid from Dye & Durham

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Link’s board has again turned down a reduced offer from the Canadian firm.

The board of Link Administration has declared that it is unable to recommend Dye & Durham’s (D&D) revised takeover bid of $4.57 per share put forward last week.

In an ASX announcement on Monday, Link said it had carefully considered D&D’s offer from last Thursday, an increase on its earlier offer of $4.30 per share but down from the offer price of $5.50 outlined under the scheme implementation deed in December.

Link’s board said it had reached its latest conclusion after considering multiple factors including stakeholder feedback, the underlying value of its shares, changes in market valuations and the alternatives available to the company if a transaction does not proceed.

“Link Group is continuing to engage with Dye & Durham in relation to whether an agree position can be reached on the matters raised in Dye & Durham’s letters, noting any agreed reduction to the scheme consideration proposed will be subject to Dye & Durham having proposed, and working with the ACCC on an ongoing basis to ensure it puts into effect, undertakings which satisfy the ACCC’s concerns,” the firm said.

D&D originally reduced its bid to $4.30 per share to reflect an undertaking the firm was considering providing to the ACCC in order to obtain its approval along with “the current state of the financial markets and values of both the Link Group and the PEXA shares”. 

In a statement of issues published in June, the competition watchdog raised what it described as “significant preliminary competition concerns” about the proposed takeover. 

After the reduced bid was turned down by Link, D&D put forward its latest offer of $4.57 per share in base consideration following additional negotiations.

“The company believes that this second revised proposal will give greater certainty to Link Group shareholders regarding the transaction and will lead to its successful completion,” D&D stated at the time. 

The Canadian firm has not yet responded to the latest decision from Link.

As part of its ASX announcement, Link also provided an update on its unaudited results for the 2022 financial year along with guidance for the current financial year. 

The firm reported revenue of $1.175 billion, operating EBITDA of $250 million and operating EBIT of $152 million for FY22. Audited results are expected to be released on 30 August.

“Link Group’s FY23 revenue is currently projected to increase by a low single digit percentage, operating EBITDA is currently projected to be around 8-10 per cent higher than FY22 and operating EBIT is currently projected to be around 10-12 per cent higher than FY22,” the firm added.