11/07/2008 - 15:04

Ausdrill permits MD's share purchases

11/07/2008 - 15:04

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Takeover target Ausdrill Ltd has cast aside its share trading policy, in light of managing director Ron Sayers' recent share spending spree, justifying the move as not applicable during a hostile takeover scenario.

Ausdrill permits MD's share purchases

Takeover target Ausdrill Ltd has cast aside its share trading policy, in light of managing director Ron Sayers' recent share spending spree, justifying the move as not applicable during a hostile takeover scenario.

The company said the board had approved the departure from the policy which allows directors and group operation mangers to only buy shares during a 42-day window period after the release of half or full-year profits and annual general meetings.

According to the policy, securities are not allowed to be purchased at any other times.

Ausdrill is currently the subject of a takeover bid by Macmahon Holdings Ltd, which is offering 1.45 of its shares for each Ausdrill share.

"Since the takeover bid was announced, Ausdrill's managing director and significant shareholder, Mr. Ron Sayers, has made several further acquisitions of Ausdrill shares," Ausdrill said in a statement.

"The Board approved the departure from the share trading policy on the basis that firstly it was satisfied that the market was fully informed and secondly it was not appropriate for the share trading policy to apply during a hostile takeover scenario."

The announcement follows another raid by Mr Sayers, who has spent $131,732 buying 55,485 shares.

Over the June month Mr Sayers has spent nearly $11 million purchasing Ausdrill shares with his previous stake in the company standing at 14.3 per cent.

Below is the full announcement:

Ausdrill Limited (ASX code: ASL) has previously published a share trading policy entitled "Trading in Company Securities by Directors and Senior Executives".

Ausdrill is currently subject to a hostile takeover bid by Macmahon Holdings Limited ("Macmahon"). The Board of the Company unanimously considers Macmahon's offer to be inadequate and opportunistic and the Board has recommended that shareholders REJECT Macmahon's offer.

Since the takeover bid was announced, Ausdrill's Managing Director and significant shareholder, Mr. Ron Sayers, has made several further acquisitions of Ausdrill shares. These acquisitions were made with the authorisation of Ausdrill's Board. The Board approved the departure from the share trading policy on the basis that firstly it was satisfied that the market was fully informed and secondly it was not appropriate for the share trading policy to apply during a hostile takeover scenario.

Mr. Sayers has publicly stated that he will not accept Macmahon's offer. He continues to be a strong believer in the Company's business and its future and his recent buying is an indication of his commitment to the Company and that he believes (as do the remainder of the Board) that Macmahon's offer does not fully value Ausdrill shares.

Ausdrill's Board advises Ausdrill shareholders to REJECT Macmahon's offer and to continue to ignore all documents sent by Macmahon.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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