Minority shareholders block Henderson unit buyout

HONG KONG: Shareholders of Henderson Investment Ltd yesterday rejected a US$704mil plan by parent Henderson Land Development Ltd to take it private, killing the deal in a rare victory for Hong Kong shareholder activists. 

Despite a sweetened offer from blue-chip developer Henderson Land, the company failed to muster sufficient support for the buy-out plan from investors in its 73.48%- owned Henderson Investment unit, an executive told reporters following the shareholder vote. 

Opponents of the deal included fund giant Templeton Asset Management and minority shareholder activist David Webb, who had argued that the offer price was too low. 

“I'm quite disappointed,” Henderson Land vice-chairman Colin Lam said after the vote. “We were going to take advantage of the low interest rate environment to borrow money for the privatisation and return some of the benefits to shareholders,” Lam said. – Reuters  

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