lemon lime tree farm orchard
Image – Canva.
  • Trading pause today ahead of announcement
  • Roc Private Equity ups the bid again to $1.18
  • The new revision only represents a two cent premium compared to four previously

It’s a pattern we’ve almost become accustomed to by now: week by week one-upmanship in the bidding battle for berry and citrus company Vitalharvest (ASX: VTH).

The continued appetite for Vitalharvest, paired with strong gains for Rural Funds Group (ASX: RFF) made the Primewest (ASX: PWG) move into the agricultural sector seem all the more justified. The sector has gone from strength to strength despite buffeting from international issues.

The takeover events so far

Back in November last year, Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management (MAFM) offered to take over Vitalharvest.

At the end of February Roc Private Equity offered $1.08 per unit in a rival takeover bid for VTH, starting the now months-long vying for Vitalharvest.

The events throughout March included, VTH announcing they were warming to the Roc offer, followed by Macquarie equalling the offer, and a subsequent raising of the offer by Roc to $1.12 per unit.

Vitalharvest then came out and again said they were warming to the Roc offer in similar language to a previous announcement.

At the start of April, Vitalharvest announced it had received a binding offer (as compared to previous non-binding offers) and officially determined the Roc Private Equity offer to be superior.

A matching rights period commenced, with Macquarie then equalling the Roc bid once again.

Only a day later, Roc Private Equity then announced yet another raise, now to $1.16 per unit.

Today’s movements

Vitalharvest paused trading again today ahead of another major announcement.

Today, the company said:

“Following the announcement on 14 April 2021, the VTH RE Board determined today that the fourth revised proposal from MAFM to acquire all the units in VTH for $1.16 per unit or the assets for $329.6m received by VTH RE on the morning of 14 April (Fourth MAFM Proposal) will or is likely to provide an equivalent or superior outcome for VTH unitholders than the binding proposal received from Roc on 7 April 2021.”

Earlier today, Roc provided an additional premium to the unit price, now raising it to $1.18 per unit or $333.3 million for VTH assets.

This move by Roc Private Equity is only half the previous two revisions, previously Roc added a four cent premium to the unit price for two revisions, this time only two cents.

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