Application Concerning Ausdoc [14/06/2002] The Takeovers Panel

Friday, 14 June 2002

APPLICATION CONCERNING AUSDOC

The Panel advises that it has today received an application from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for a declaration of unacceptable circumstances in relation to the affairs of Ausdoc Group Limited (Ausdoc).

The application relates to a break fee and other lock-up provisions that Ausdoc announced on 22 May 2002, it had entered into with an unnamed potential bidder for Ausdoc.

ASIC's concerns relate to:

  • the size of the break fees reported by Ausdoc (the maximum fee payable is $3.5 million), and
  • the fact that a break fee is also payable in the event that the bidder does not reach the 90% compulsory acquisition threshold (subject to certain other conditions which Ausdoc included in its announcement of 22 May).

ASIC said that it is concerned that the break fee arrangements may have an adverse effect on competition for control of Ausdoc, and adversely affect shareholders in Ausdoc.

The Panel is currently assembling a sitting Panel for the application.

Nigel Morris
Director, Takeovers Panel
Level 47 Nauru House, 80 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: +61 3 9655 3501
nigel.morris@takeovers.gov.au