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Crage extends his HI bid

HIRE Intelligence managing director Tom Crage has extended the takeover offer from his private company Hamwrex Nominees until February 11.

Mr Crage began takeover proceedings for the listed short-term computer rental group on December 2, initially offering shareholders 10 cents a share.

That offer has subsequently been lifted to 13 cents, which is roughly the level Hire Intelligence shares have been selling for over the past week.

He himself, at that stage, held about 68 per cent of the company’s listed capital.

It is understood his holding has risen to about 70 per cent since then.

Mr Crage needs to get to 90 per cent plus one share to compulsorily acquire the company.

Mr Crage wants the company to be taken back to being run as a private entity.

However, fellow director Bill Hassell and Hire Intelligence chairman Richard Elliott opposed the takeover bid citing information from KPMG Corporate Finance that assessed the takeover bid to be too low.

The KPMG report states: “We have assessed the fair value of equity in Hire Intelligence (including a premium for control) to lie in the range of $15 million to $18.9 million, which equates to an assessed value per Hire Intelligence share of between approximately 19.5 cents and 24.6 cents …”

Mr Elliott, who is also a director of Arc Energy and Amity Oil, said his objection to the takeover  was simply that the offer was too low.

He told WA Business News that he and Mr Hassell felt the offer undervalued the company.

However, Mr Elliott would not be drawn on whether he felt privatising the company was a good idea.

Adding to the confusion has been the announcement of the resignation of company secretary Leonard Troncone.

Mr Troncone was appointed secretary on December 23 and his resignation was announced on January 29.

However, he is staying on with the company until March 5, before taking on his full-time role as company secretary of Titan Resources.

Mr Troncone said he had only accepted the Hire Intelligence position on a short-term contract basis.

“I think privatisation is something that should happen to this company,” he said.

 

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