berry farm tree picking harvest
The battle for Vitalharvest continues. Image – Canva.
  • Roc offered $1.23 late yesterday
  • MAFM quickly responded with $1.24 today
  • The MAFM revision also increases asset sale alternative to $344.4M

The morning begins with Vitalharvest (ASX: VTH), the foils are out and en garde is called once more…

Only yesterday Vitalharvest announced that Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management (MAFM) had offered $1.19 per unit in VTH in a takeover offer, or $335.15 million in assets.

The move was a deviation from the previous trend whereby Macquarie would equal the offer put up by Roc Private Equity a number of times.

Today, ahead of an announcement, Vitalharvest went into another trading halt.

The announcement

Late yesterday, Vitalharvest received a revised offer from Roc Private Equity which saw the unit price jump to $1.23 or $342.55 million in an asset sale alternative should unitholders vote against the first option. This is, and is called by VTH, the “Fifth Roc Offer”.

Today, Macquarie made its sixth proposal to Vitalharvest, a unit price of $1.24, or $344.4 million in assets.

What originally had the potential to be a knockout offer from Roc has been parried by Macquarie at every step.

The trends during the past few months of this takeover bid gained some degree of predictability up until yesterday.

What originally was a $1.00 per unit or $300 million offer by MAFM in November last year, saw competition from Roc in late February with $1.08 or $314.8 million. Roc consistently added four cent premiums in each revised offer with Macquarie equalling them at every step, from $1.12 to $1.16. Roc reduced its premium in the fourth revised offer, $1.18, yesterday Macquarie didn’t equal but raised Roc by one cent.

The departure from that trend now continues, with Roc seemingly trying its hand again at a high offer, Macquarie making an interesting move – simply trumping this by one cent.

This does not seem over yet.

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