The takeover battle for Banks Holding Limited (BHL)has not lost any fizz, despite a week-long freeze which was lifted late Friday by Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson.
Declaring the freeze over, SLU Beverages Limited today hiked its share offer to $6.20.
“SLU Beverages, Ltd. wishes to advise all shareholders of Banks Holdings Limited of its intention to amend its previous offer to purchase all issued and outstanding common shares in Banks Holdings Limited to an increased gross cash price of BDS$6.20, reduced by any Barbados Stock Exchange fees applicable to the shareholder. The amended offer will expire on December 3rd, 2015.”
SLU, which is owned by the Brazilian drinks manufacturer AMBEV already had initially offered $4.00 before upping its price per share to $5.20.
The amended offer now puts the SLU ahead of its rival Trinidad and Tobago conglomerate ANSA McAL, which has offered BHL shareholders $6.00.
However, ANSA signalled this evening it had no plans of surrendering to the AMBEV.
ANSA, which had brought the injunction to contest a controversial exit clause in 2010 loan agreement between BHL and SLU Beverages, hinted in a statement that it had not ruled out more legal action.
“We would like to emphasize that we remain committed to acquiring BHL, and we have reserved our right to pursue our legal options to overcome the clause that is disadvantageous to shareholders other than SLU/AmBev.”
The company also touted its track record, pledging that if its bid to acquire BHL was successful, it would ensure that the company and its iconic Banks beer brand thrive.
“We believe that ANSA McAL is better for Barbados, better for Banks, given the synergies with our beverage portfolio and our plans to grow the brand. Once we acquire BHL, the Banks Beer brand will be the among top three brands in our brewery portfolio and remain our flagship brand in Barbados. If AmBev acquires BHL, the Banks brand will be one among countless big international brands,” ANSA added.