10/10/2018 - 07:20

$2bn takeover bid for Navitas

10/10/2018 - 07:20

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Navitas co-founder and former managing director Rod Jones has backed an indicative takeover bid for the education services company led by Australian private equity giant BGH Capital.

$2bn takeover bid for Navitas
Navitas co-founder and former managing director Rod Jones.

Navitas co-founder and former managing director Rod Jones has backed an indicative takeover proposal for the education services company led by Australian private equity giant BGH Capital.

The bidding consortium comprises Melbourne-based BGH Capital, Australian Super (currently a 5.4 per cent shareholder) and Mr Jones (a 12.6 per cent shareholder).

It plans to offer $5.50 cash per share, a 26 per cent premium to yesterday’s closing price, or a mix of cash and shares in a new unlisted company that will seek to own the business.

The prtoposal values Navitas at $1.97 billion.

Mr Jones, who is currently a non-executive director of the company, supports the takeover proposal.

He has signed a pre-bid acceptance agreement with BGH Capital under which he will vend half his Navitas stake into the takeover offer and vend the other half into the new holding company that will own Navitas.

“I believe this is a fair and equitable deal, struck at an appropriate premium to Navitas’ prevailing share price, and is in the best interests of all Navitas shareholders,” Mr Jones said in a statement.

“I remain passionate about the Navitas business and the education sector, which is why I have agreed to vend half my shareholding into the new holding company.

“I would expect to remain a non-executive director of Navitas once this transaction is completed.”

Mr Jones stepped down as managing director earlier this year, to be succeeded by David Buckingham.

Navitas said today that its board, led by chair Tracey Horton, has put in place formal protocols in relation to Mr Jones’ access to information, employees, and attendance at board meetings.

Notably, Ms Horton and Mr Jones are both standing for re-election as directors at Navitas' annual meeting on 15 November

The Navitas board has not yet formed a view on the indicative proposal and will conduct a review with its financial adviser Goldman Sachs and legal adviser Ashurst.

BGH is led by Robin Bishop, who was previously head of Macquarie Capital, and Ben Gray and Simon Harle, who were formerly partners at TPG Capital, and led (or managed) investments in Alinta Energy (formerly Alinta) and Myer, among others.

Its head of operations is former Wesfarmers finance director Terry Bowen.

BGH Capital Fund I had a final close of $2.6 billion in May 2018, making it the largest private equity fund focused on Australia and New Zealand that is actively deploying capital. 

 

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