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Fyffes PLC  -  FFY   

Posting Announcement Outline

Released 15:12 20-Dec-2016

RNS Number : 3932S
Fyffes PLC
20 December 2016
 

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART IN, INTO OR FROM ANY JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OR REGULATIONS OF THAT JURISDICTION

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

20 December 2016

 

 

RECOMMENDED CASH OFFER

 

for

 

FYFFES PLC

 

by

SWORDUS IRELAND HOLDING LIMITED

A WHOLLY-OWNED SUBSIDIARY OF

SUMITOMO CORPORATION

 

TO BE IMPLEMENTED BY WAY OF A SCHEME OF ARRANGEMENT UNDER CHAPTER 1 OF PART 9 OF THE COMPANIES ACT 2014

 

 

 

Publication and Posting of Scheme Document

 

On 9 December 2016, the boards of Sumitomo Corporation ("Sumitomo") and Fyffes plc ("Fyffes") announced that they had reached agreement on the terms of a unanimously recommended cash offer by Sumitomo pursuant to which Swordus Ireland Holding Limited ("Bidco"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo, will acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Fyffes (the "Acquisition"). As outlined in that announcement, the Acquisition is to be effected by means of a Court-approved scheme of arrangement between Fyffes and its shareholders under Chapter 1 of Part 9 of the Companies Act 2014 (the "Scheme").

Fyffes announces that it is today publishing a circular relating to the Scheme (the "Scheme Document") which will shortly be posted to shareholders of Fyffes ("Fyffes Shareholders"), including to participants in the Fyffes' employee share plans and, for information only, to participants in the Fyffes' employee share option scheme, together with the associated Forms of Proxy and Forms of Direction. The Scheme Document sets out, amongst other things, the full terms and conditions of the Acquisition, a statement explaining the effect of the Scheme in compliance with section 452 of the Companies Act 2014, notices of the required meetings of Fyffes Shareholders, an indicative timetable of principal events and details of the action to be taken by Fyffes Shareholders.

 

Under the terms of the Acquisition, Fyffes Shareholders will be entitled to receive:

for each Fyffes Share                                          €2.23 in cash

The Acquisition values the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Fyffes at approximately €751,365,470. The Acquisition represents a premium of approximately:

·           49% to Fyffes' closing share price of €1.50 on 8 December 2016 (being the last practicable date prior to the public announcement of the Acquisition on 9 December 2016);

·           53% to Fyffes' volume weighted average share price of approximately €1.46 over the 30 trading day period ending 8 December 2016;

·           52% to Fyffes' volume weighted average share price of approximately €1.47 over the 90 trading day period ending 8 December 2016; and

·           37% to Fyffes' all-time high share price[1] of 1.62, which occurred on 22 April 2016.

In addition, Fyffes Shareholders will be paid a final dividend in respect of calendar year 2016 by Fyffes of €0.02 per share in cash, bringing the total amount to be received by Fyffes Shareholders to €2.25 per Fyffes Share in cash.

The Scheme requires approval by Fyffes Shareholders at a scheme meeting (the "First Scheme Meeting") to be held at 10 am on 16 January 2017. Sumitomo and certain persons connected to it (the "Sumitomo Class Shareholders") will not be entitled to vote their Fyffes Shares at the First Scheme Meeting, but will instead vote at a second Scheme Meeting (the "Second Scheme Meeting") to be held for such Sumitomo Class Shareholders at 10.10 am on 16 January 2017 (or, if later, as soon as the First Scheme Meeting has concluded or has been adjourned).

 

In addition to approval at the Scheme meetings, implementation of the Scheme also requires various approvals by Fyffes Shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting (the "EGM") to be held at 10.25 am on 16 January 2017, or, if later, immediately after the conclusion or adjournment of the Second Scheme Meeting. Once effective, the Scheme will be binding on all Fyffes Shareholders, including those who did not vote, or who voted against it, at the Scheme meetings.

The expected timetable of principal events is attached as an Appendix to this announcement.

 

Fyffes Shareholders should carefully read the Scheme Document in its entirety before making a decision with respect to the Scheme.

 

As a consequence of Fyffes Shareholders approving the Scheme, Fyffes will be cancelled from AIM and ESM. 

An application has been made to the Irish Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange to cancel the admission of the Fyffes Shares to trading on ESM and AIM respectively, with effect from the Effective Date, if the Scheme is sanctioned by the High Court. It is intended that application will be made for the dealing in Fyffes Shares on AIM and ESM to be suspended on or around the date of the Court Hearing, as necessary.

  

Shareholder helpline

If you have any queries in relation to action to be taken, please contact Fyffes' Registrars, Computershare Investor Services (Ireland) Limited, on +353 1 431 9826 between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm Monday to Friday (other than bank holidays in Ireland). For legal reasons, the Registrars will not be able to provide advice on the merits of the Acquisition itself or give financial or tax advice.

 

For further information please contact:

 

Fyffes

Seamus Keenan (Company Secretary)                                                                            +353 1 887 2700

Lazard (Financial Adviser to Fyffes)

Tim George / Alexander Hecker / Mario Skoff                                                                   +1 212 632 6000

Marcus Taylor                                                                                                                +44 20 7187 2000

Davy Corporate Finance (Financial Adviser to Fyffes)

Ivan Murphy / Fergal Meegan / Michael Hussey                                                                +353 1 679 6363

Wilson Hartnell PR (Public Relations Adviser to Fyffes)

Brian Bell / Sheila Gahan                                                                                                +353 1 669 0030

 

Important Notices

The directors of Fyffes accept responsibility for the information contained in this announcement other than that relating to Sumitomo, the Sumitomo Group and the Sumitomo Directors and members of their immediate families, related trusts and persons connected with them. To the best of the knowledge and belief of the directors of Fyffes (who, in each case, have taken all reasonable care to ensure that such is the case), the information contained in this announcement for which they accept responsibility is in accordance with the facts and does not omit anything likely to affect the import of such information.

Lazard & Co., Limited ("Lazard"), which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom, is acting exclusively as financial adviser to Fyffes and no one else in connection with the matters referred to in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Fyffes for providing the protections afforded to clients of Lazard nor for providing advice in connection with the matters referred to in this announcement. Neither Lazard nor any of its affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Lazard in connection with this Announcement, any statement contained herein or otherwise.

Davy Corporate Finance, which is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, is acting exclusively for Fyffes and no one else in connection with the matters referred to in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Fyffes for providing the protections afforded to clients of Davy Corporate Finance, or for providing advice in connection with the matters referred to in this announcement.

This announcement is for information purposes only and is not intended to, and does not, constitute or form any part of any offer or invitation, or the solicitation of an offer, to purchase or otherwise acquire, subscribe for, sell or otherwise dispose of any securities or the solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction pursuant to the Acquisition or otherwise, nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law.  The Acquisition will be made solely by means of the Scheme Document, which contains the full terms and conditions of the Acquisition, including details of how to vote in respect of the Acquisition. Any decision in respect of, or other response to, the Acquisition, should be made only on the basis of the information contained in the Scheme Document.

This announcement does not constitute a prospectus or a prospectus equivalent document.

This announcement has been prepared for the purpose of complying with the laws of Ireland and the Takeover Rules and the information disclosed may not be the same as that which would have been disclosed if this Announcement had been prepared in accordance with the laws of jurisdictions outside of Ireland.

Overseas jurisdictions

The distribution, release or publication of this announcement in or into jurisdictions other than Ireland or the United Kingdom may be restricted by law and therefore any persons who are subject to the laws of any jurisdiction other than Ireland or the United Kingdom should inform themselves about, and observe, any applicable requirements. Any failure to comply with the applicable requirements may constitute a violation of the securities laws of such jurisdiction. This announcement is not intended to and does not constitute, or form part of, any offer to sell or issue or an invitation to purchase or subscribe for any securities or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities pursuant to this announcement or otherwise in any jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful. This document has been prepared for the purposes of complying with Irish law, the Takeover Rules and the AIM Rules and ESM Rules and the information disclosed may not be the same as that which would have been disclosed if this announcement had been prepared in accordance with the laws of jurisdictions outside Ireland.

The attention of Fyffes Shareholders who are resident in, or citizens of, jurisdictions outside Ireland or the United Kingdom, is drawn to the paragraph 15 (headed "Overseas shareholders") in Part III of the Scheme Document.

Disclosure requirements of the Takeover Rules

Under the provisions of Rule 8.3 of the Takeover Rules, if any person is, or becomes, "interested" (directly or indirectly) in, 1% or more of any class of "relevant securities" of Fyffes, all "dealings" in any "relevant securities" of Fyffes (including by means of an option in respect of, or a derivative referenced to, any such "relevant securities") must be publicly disclosed by not later than 3:30 pm (Irish time) on the "business" day in Dublin following the date of the relevant transaction. This requirement will continue until the date on which the "offer period" ends.  If two or more persons co-operate on the basis of any agreement, either express or tacit, either oral or written, to acquire an "interest" in "relevant securities" of Fyffes, they will be deemed to be a single person for the purpose of Rule 8.3 of the Takeover Rules.

Under the provisions of Rule 8.1 of the Takeover Rules, all "dealings" in "relevant securities"' of Fyffes by Sumitomo or Bidco, or by any party Acting in Concert with either of them, must also be disclosed by no later than 12 noon (Irish time) on the business day in Dublin following the date of the relevant transaction.

A disclosure table, giving details of the companies in whose "relevant securities" "dealings" should be disclosed, can be found on the Irish Takeover Panel's website at www.irishtakeoverpanel.ie.

"Interests in securities" arise, in summary, when a person has long economic exposure, whether conditional or absolute, to changes in the price of securities. In particular, a person will be treated as having an "interest" by virtue of the ownership or control of securities, or by virtue of any option in respect of, or derivative referenced to, securities.

Terms in quotation marks are defined in the Takeover Rules, which can also be found on the Irish Takeover Panel's website. If you are in any doubt as to whether or not you are required to disclose a dealing under Rule 8, please consult the Irish Takeover Panel's website at www.irishtakeoverpanel.ie or contact the Irish Takeover Panel on telephone number +353 1 678 9020 or fax number +353 1 678 9289.

Publication on website and availability of hard copies

A copy of this announcement (together with any document incorporated by reference) will be available, free of charge (subject to certain restrictions relating to persons resident in Restricted Jurisdictions) on Fyffes website at www.fyffes.com by no later than 12.00 p.m. on the business day following this announcement and throughout the course of the Offer. The contents of Fyffes website are not incorporated into, and do not form part of, this announcement.

A Fyffes shareholder may request a copy of information incorporated by reference into the Scheme Document in hard copy form by writing to Fyffes plc, 29 North Anne Street, Dublin 7, Ireland or by contacting the Company Secretary of Fyffes on +353 1 887 2700. Any written requests must include the identity of the Fyffes shareholder and any hard copy documents will be posted to the address of the Fyffes shareholder provided in the written request.

The laws of the relevant jurisdictions may affect the availability of the Acquisition to persons who are not resident in Ireland or the United Kingdom. Persons who are not resident in Ireland or the United Kingdom, or who are subject to laws of any jurisdiction other than Ireland or the United Kingdom, should inform themselves about, and observe, any applicable legal or regulatory requirements. Any failure to comply with the applicable legal or regulatory requirements may constitute a violation of the laws and/or regulations of any such jurisdiction. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, the companies and persons involved in the Acquisition disclaim any responsibility and liability for the violation of such restrictions by any person.

The Acquisition will not be made available, directly or indirectly, in a Restricted Jurisdiction, and the Acquisition will not be capable of acceptance from within a Restricted Jurisdiction.

The release, publication or distribution of this this announcement in or into certain jurisdictions may be restricted by the laws of those jurisdictions. Accordingly, copies of this this announcement and all other documents relating to the Acquisition are not being, and must not be, released, published, mailed or otherwise forwarded, distributed or sent in, into or from any Restricted Jurisdiction. Persons receiving such documents (including, without limitation, nominees, trustees and custodians) should observe these restrictions. Failure to do so may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, Sumitomo, Bidco and Fyffes disclaim any responsibility or liability for the violations of any such restrictions by any person.

 



 

APPENDIX I

 

Expected Timetable of Principal Events

Event

Time

Date

Latest time for receipt of Forms of Proxy for the First Scheme Meeting

10.00 am

14 January 2017

Latest time for receipt of Forms of Proxy for the Second Scheme Meeting

10.10 am

14 January 2017

Latest time for receipt of Forms of Proxy for the Extraordinary General Meeting

10.25 am

14 January 2017

Voting Record Time

6.00 pm

14 January 2017

First Scheme Meeting

10.00 am

16 January 2017

Second Scheme Meeting

10.10 am

16 January 2017

Extraordinary General Meeting

10.25 am

16 January 2017

 

The following dates are provided by way of indicative guidance only, are subject to change and will depend, amongst other things, on the date on which antitrust (and other) Conditions to the Scheme are satisfied or, if capable of waiver, waived and on the date on which the Court sanctions the Scheme and confirms the associated Reduction of Capital. Fyffes will give adequate notice of all of these dates, when known, by issuing an announcement through a Regulatory Information Service. Further updates or changes to other times or dates indicated below shall, at Fyffes' discretion, be notified in the same way.

 

Intended date to present petition to the High Court to issue motion for directions to fix Court Hearing date


23 January 2017

Intended date for Court Hearing (of the petition to sanction the Scheme)


22 February 2017

Expected last day of dealings in Fyffes Shares


22 February 2017

Dividend Record Time

 

6.00 pm

22 February 2017

Scheme Record Time

6.00 pm

22 February 2017

Effective Date of the Scheme


23 February 2017

Cancellation of the ESM listing of Fyffes shares by the Irish Stock Exchange and the cancellation of the AIM listing of Fyffes shares by the London Stock Exchange


23 February 2017

Despatch of cheques and crediting of CREST accounts for cash consideration due under the Scheme


within 14 days of the Effective Date

Notes: 

All times shown in this this announcement are Dublin times unless otherwise stated. 

Capitalised terms used, but not defined, in this announcement have the same meaning as in the Scheme Document.



[1] Since the first trading date following the effective date of the demerger of Fyffes' general produce and distribution business (effective on 30 December 2006).


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Posting Announcement Outline - RNS