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Smorgon-OneSteel ups Email stake

February 19, 2001

Smorgon Steel Group Ltd and OneSteel Ltd have moved closer to winning total control of Email Ltd after the sale of its major appliances business was finalised last week.

Bid vehicle Smorgon Distribution Ltd has increased its interest in Email to 76 per cent after it received acceptances from major institutional shareholders and Electrolux, which bought the appliances unit for $485 million.

The joint Smorgon-OneSteel $3.00 per share cash bid closes on February 28 and is conditional on winning control of 90 per cent of the company.

It was also conditional on the sale of the major appliances business.

The parties have until Tuesday to notify the market if they plan to extend the $815 million bid, warning that the offer could lapse if they have not acquired the relevant 90 per cent interest.

"Were this to happen, Email shares would likely trade at a significant discount to the offer price, a fact recognised by Email's directors," Smorgon Distribution said.

Smorgon chairman Graham Smorgon said on Friday, when the controlling interest stood at 63 per cent, the parties would be working over the weekend to increase the level of shareholding.

On Friday, Email shares closed two cents higher at $2.89, while Smorgon added one cent to 96 cents and OneSteel was unchanged at 93 cents

© 2001 Excite Australia Pty Ltd


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