PERTH investor Barry Patterson looks set to make a clean and profitable exit from his rescue of office supplies company National 1 after French firm Lyreco announced a 14-cents-per-share takeover bid.
The on-market bid, at a miniscule premium to the previous market price of 13.5 cents per share, values the loss-making Perth company at $33.8 million.
It comes nearly a year after Mr Patterson invested $10 million in National 1 at a price of 10 cents per share.
Since then, National 1 continued to experience operational problems and financial losses, culminating in the resignation of founding managing director Warren Arbuckle in January.
Specifically, it plans to use its global purchasing arrangements to improve National 1’s supply contracts and will examine whether a narrower product range would result in cost reductions.
“If it succeeds it means that National 1 will be part of a stronger, bigger entity with a specialist focus on this market,” he said.
Mr Bigeard said National 1 was “very heavily in debt” and not profitable.
It recently reported a $13.2 million loss for the six months to December 2003 on revenue of $66.2 million.
“I think there needs to be a solution, whether it comes from Lyreco or someone else,” Mr Bigeard said.
“We looked at the company and made our valuation according to the basics of National 1,” Mr Bigeard said.
However, he said the takeover “only brings positive attributes to National 1”.