The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has appointed Morgan Stanley to sell a stake of approximately 12.9 per cent in Yowie Group, which the regulator seized in April.
On April 26 2019, the Takeovers Panel made a declaration of unacceptable circumstances in relation to both Wilson Asset Management International’s acquisition of Yowie shares between March 13 and 27 and Keybridge Capital’s acquisition of Yowie shares between April 2 and 10 2019.
The panel said the share purchases resulted in a contravention of section 606 of the Corporations Act, which relates to providing details of a relevant interest in a takeover target.
Morgan Stanley must sell the shares within three months, and WAMI cannot purchase the 27 million shares it acquired and Keybridge the 1 million shares it acquired.
The proceeds of the sales will be returned to WAMI and Keybridge.
In March, Keybridge had a 6 per cent stake in Yowie, and WAMI a 13 per cent stake.
Keybridge also had a relevant interest in a further 12.2 per cent of Yowie owned by Aurora Funds Management under its HHY Fund, which is a former subsidiary of Keybridge.
Wilson Asset has voting power of 20.7 per cent in Keybridge.
In May, Keybridge Capital cancelled its proposed $20 million takeover of Yowie, citing the Perth-based confectionery company’s worsening financial results.
Shares in Yowie closed trade down 1.6 per cent to trade at 6 cents each.