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On announcement of Canadian buyout

Stocks of Tasmanian walnut grower Webster Limited rise 52%

Webster Limited operates walnut and almond orchards in NSW and Tasmania, as well as irrigable land for cotton and other annual crops, cattle and Dorper sheep production, a portfolio of water entitlements, and honey business in NSW.

Shares in Webster Limited jumped more than 52% after it revealed an $854 million approach from a Canadian buyer that already looks to be a done deal. Webster shares ended at $1.935 after the agreed scheme of arrangement takeover by PSP Investments was revealed to the market.

The company said that PSP subsidiaries PSP BidCo and Sooke Investments would acquire all Webster shares not already owned by the fund manager for $2 each if shareholders and the courts vote for the scheme.

The $2 a share offer is the highest price ever for Webster shares, indicating the determination of the Canadian group to grab control. The offer has been supported by independent directors on the Webster board.

The market has signaled that it doesn’t see any other bidders with the shares trading more than 6 cents under the offer price, sure sign investors see the deal is done and dusted.

The company’s half-year result in May was hit by the drought with net profit down 46% to $2.1 million. The company says it expects a “near breakeven” position for the full year to September 30.

According to¸ a shareholder vote is expected to be held early next year.

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