Actis secures R8.4bn Alexander Forbes

Actis Capital’s bid for Alexander Forbes has reportedly gained shareholder acceptance, after raising its bid twice and offering to keep a quarter of the company listed on the Johannesburg stock exchange.

The shareholders of South Africa’s largest pension fund administrator Alexander Forbes have accepted emerging buyout firm Actis Capital’s R8.4 billion ($1.2 billion, €884 million) long-running take-private bid, according to media sources. 

Actis again revised its offer this month to include a reinvestment option. It is the firm’s third offer in eight months, up to the present R17.26 per share bid. The emerging markets buyout firm also placated initially sceptical shareholders by setting up a listed vehicle, representing 26.5 percent equity of the company to be listed on the Johannesburg stock exchange. Actis will acquire the remaining 73.5 percent.

Media sources said 89 percent of shareholders voted in favour of the deal surpassing the 75 percent acceptance needed to ratify it.  Shareholders will be permitted to subscribe to preference shares equivalent to 70 percent of their holdings in Alexander Forbes on March 27.

Actis originally launched its bid in October last year but the bid has been held up by shareholder resistance. Last December the firm said the offer had been finalised at R16.25 per share. On January 24 South Africa’s Competition Tribunal said it had unconditionally approved the deal. However, in February the company upped its bid to R17 per share. 

The deal will be completed on the 11 July 2007 subject to regulatory requirements.