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ClearView in ASX trading halt pending statement on offer

ASX-listed ClearView in trading halt pending statement on takeover offer

By Paul McBeth

Aug. 29 (BusinessDesk) - ASX-listed financial services firm ClearView Wealth, half-owned by Guinness Peat Group, has asked for trading in its shares to be halted pending an announcement on a potential takeover offer.

ClearView is the target of buyout firm Crescent Capital Partners, which is offering A$220 million to take over the company in a deal that would install ex-GPG director Gary Weiss as chairman. ClearView's board has urged shareholders to spurn the offer, and GPG described the bid as "wholly inadequate".

The company "wishes to request a trading halt in its securities pending an announcement to ASX regarding a potential significant development with a change of control transaction," general counsel Chris Robson said.

The shares last traded at 58 Australian cents, a 16 percent premium to Crescent's offer.

The trading halt comes the same day GPG reported a first-half loss due to the fine imposed on its Coats threadmaker unit for historical antitrust breaches in Europe. GPG reiterated its dim view of the Crescent bid for ClearView, backing the wealth manager's board in rejecting the offer.

ClearView is GPG's third-biggest asset behind Coats and NZX-listed insurer Tower, with the investment valued at 81 million pounds as at June 30.

Crescent built a 12 percent stake in ClearView from various put and call options with existing shareholders including Ariadne Australia, which counts former GPG director Weiss as an executive director.


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