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CHH makes bid for Wadepack

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New Zealand-based Carter Holt Harvey Limited (CHH) has made an off-market takeover bid for leading folding carton manufacturer Wadepack .

Wadepack directors have announced unanimous support for the bid, recommending shareholders accept the offer once standard regulatory approvals (FIRB and ACCC) are received, in the absence of a superior proposal.

Wadepack managing director Ashod Nassabian owns 40 per cent of the company. He has seen it go from a one factory Sydney business to a national company and grow into Australias third largest folding carton converter, after CHH and Amcor, through a series of acquisitions over the past few years.

Wadepack was known for limiting itself to printing and converting folding cartons, with no in-house pre-press at all. Interestingly, CHH in Australia not so long ago brought its pre-press offering up to date by taking over leading independent prepress specialist Montage Graphics.

CHH is offering $2.70 in cash for every ordinary fully-paid Wadepack share.

Chief operating officer for the CHH Pulp, Paper & Packaging businesses, Rhys Jones said the companys offer represented full and fair value for Wadepack and he believed it would be attractive to its shareholders.

Carter Holt Harveys bid is consistent with our strategy of investing in higher returning assets that deliver growth in our core areas wood products, pulp, paper and packaging, supported by our forest assets, said Mr Jones.

We see this as a natural fit for both organisations, bringing together complementary customer bases across a variety of attractive market segments. Backed by our world-class paper operations, these customers will be better served by a new leader in the Australian carton packaging market," he said.

If the takeover gets regulatory approvals, Nassabian will stay on for 12 months as managing director of Wadepack which will operate, initially, as a separate division of CHH Packaging.

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