ComfortDelgro – BT

ComfortDelGro makes play for SwanTaxis

A$38.8m cash takeover bid launched for Aussie firm, which has 9% share of the Perth metropolitan market

COMFORTDELGRO Corporation has launched an A$38.8 million (S$46.5 million) cash takeover bid for Australia’s Swan Taxis, which has a 91 per cent share of the Perth metropolitan market.

The offer for all the shares and options in Swan Taxis is conditional on ComfortDelGro obtaining at least 90 per cent of the company’s stock.

There are 225,545 Swan Taxis shares and options currently outstanding.

The offer price is about 1.4 times Swan Taxis’ book value and 6.6 times its Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation).

‘Swan is the leading taxi operator in Western Australia with an advanced despatch system and a strong customer base,’ said Kua Hong Pak, ComfortDelGro’s managing director and group chief executive.

‘We are excited about the prospects this proposed acquisition offers us – geographic expansion and extension of another of our core businesses in Australia.’

The acquisition, which will be funded internally, is not expected to have a material impact on the group’s net tangible assets per share or earnings per share for its financial year ending Dec 31, 2010.

ComfortDelGro said yesterday it has lodged a bidder’s statement with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission for Swan Taxis’ shares and options.

An offer letter will be sent to Swan Taxis shareholders within two weeks, and they will have seven weeks to decide.

If and when a 90 per cent acceptance rate is achieved, ComfortDelGro will compulsorily acquire all shares.

Swan Taxis, which has a fleet of 1,667 taxis, is an unlisted public company.

For the 12 months ended June 30, 2009, it reported revenue of A$13.3 million and a profit before tax of A$4.6 million.

ComfortDelGro is already one of the largest private bus operators in the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria.

Australia accounts for the lion’s share of ComfortDelGro’s overseas investment, at $357 million to date.

Overseas ventures currently account for 42.9 per cent of ComfortDelGro’s group revenue – a figure it plans to grow to 70 per cent over the medium term.

The group’s counter closed one cent higher at $1.51 in trading yesterday.

Comments are Closed