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Seven finally swallows Unwired

Broadcaster Seven has secured over 90 percent ownership of WiMAX spectrum holder Unwired, and will now proceed to compulsorily acquire the remaining shares in the company.
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Written by Brett Winterford on

Broadcaster Seven has secured over 90 percent ownership of WiMAX spectrum holder Unwired, and will now proceed to compulsorily acquire the remaining shares in the company.

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.

As of 3 December, the broadcaster owns 90.2 per cent of Unwired.

The acquisition bid, announced as far back as September, has been altered and extended several times in order to convince a small group of rebel shareholders to sell their stake in Unwired.

Despite already owning over 90 per cent of shares, the broadcaster has extended the offer a fifth time to now close at 7pm on 10 December.

"The bid has been extended to allow remaining shareholders the opportunity to accept the offers for shares before [Seven holding company] Network Investment Holdings commences compulsory acquisition of shares not acquired under the offers," said Seven assistant company secretary John Kinninmont.

Unwired chief executive officer David Spence told ZDNet Australia that by extending the offer, it will help those who haven't sold their shares "simply collect their money quicker" and save Seven from the administrative hassle of chasing down shareholders to compulsorily acquire their shares.

Spence said the Unwired board has not yet been notified as to what its plans are for the company and whether Unwired directors will remain in its employ.

"I will wait to see what Seven wants the future of Unwired to look like," he said. "If it includes WiMAX, I'd like to stay on."

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