Shareholders of Australian salmon farmer Huon on Friday voted overwhelmingly to allow the company's acquisition by meat processing giant JBS Group, putting the Brazilian company firmly on course to take the helm.
JBS Australia Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Brazilian based JBS S.A., has entered into an agreement to acquire up to 100 percent of Huon at $3.85 (€2.49/$2.91) per Huon share by way of concurrent schemes of arrangement.
JBS had also made an off-market takeover bid, which is being run in parallel to the schemes.
In Friday's meetings, both the primary and secondary schemes were passed by the required majority of Huon shareholders, with 90.05 percent -- other than Peter Bender, JBS and their associates -- present and voting in favor of the resolution.
The Surveyors Acquisition Resolution was passed by the required majorities of Huon shareholders, with 91.21 percent of present and voting in favor of the resolution.
The secondary scheme resolution was also passed by the required majorities of Huon shareholders, with 90.01 percent of Huon shareholders present and voting in favor of the resolution.
Huon will now seek court orders to approve the primary scheme. If the primary scheme is not approved by the court, Huon will seek court orders to approve the secondary scheme. These court orders will be sought from the Federal Court of Australia, Melbourne Division at a hearing scheduled for Nov. 3.
"Today’s overwhelming shareholder support for the JBS transaction will secure the future of Huon, the company’s dedicated workforce and the hundreds of Tasmanian businesses that work with us," said Huon Chairman Neil Kearney.
"Not only is it a great outcome for shareholders, it’s the right outcome for the business. We are delighted that shareholders have endorsed the proposed transaction and we look forward to working closely with JBS on the ownership transition."
The path to this approval has been anything but smooth with consistent opposition from Australian agri-giant Tattarang, which upped its stake in the company on hearing of JBS's proposal in an attempt to block it from happening.
From then on, the company has questioned JBS's motives, finally demanding a commitment to sustainable production and certain animal welfare standards from the Brazilian company earlier this week.
Thursday JBS issued a statement doing just that, and it appears to have been enough to soothe Tattarang, which must have been among the shareholders voting in favor of the deal at Huon's annual general meeting earlier today.
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