Seven extends Unwired buy offer to clean up scraps

Seven has extended its takeover offer for WiMax spectrum holder Unwired a fourth time, as it edges achingly close to the 90 percent acceptance required for whole ownership of the business.

Seven has extended its takeover offer for WiMax spectrum holder Unwired a fourth time, as it edges achingly close to the 90 percent acceptance required for whole ownership of the business.

According to the Corporations Act, an entity that owns over 90 percent of shares in a listed company is permitted to compulsorily acquire the outstanding shares in that company and declare full ownership.

The broadcaster now controls 87.1 percent of Unwired, just 2.9 percent short of its intended target.

Seven's holding company Network Investment Holdings first moved on Unwired in late September, announcing a conditional 45c offer for Unwired shares in a deal due to close 9 November.

Upon releasing the bidder's statement the following day, the offer was extended to close on 16 November.

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But by 30 October , with little over 22 percent acceptance of its offer, the broadcaster announced that it would make the offer unconditional at 50c per share.

A majority of Unwired shareholders were swayed by the unconditional offer and by 14 November , Seven held a controlling stake in the company and could legally be entitled to several positions on Unwired's board of directors.

The following day, Seven extended the deal a further two weeks to close on 30 November as it pushed for the magic 90 percent mark.

Seven has now extended the takeover offer a fourth time, declaring its 50c offer "final" and due to close at 7pm on 3 December.

"If you do not accept the offer and Network acquires more than 90 percent of Unwired shares, you shares may be compulsorily acquired by Network in accordance with the Corporations Act," John Kinninmont, company secretary of Network Investment Holdings, said in letter to Unwired shareholders. "There may be a delay in receiving payments in this case."

Kinninmont warned rebel Unwired shareholders that if Seven falls short of 90 per cent ownership, there will be a "very small free float" of Unwired shares remaining, which will "likely become highly illiquid".

"In the absence of Network's takeover offer, it is likely that the share price will fall," he warned.

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