Another bidder has entered the bidding arena as the potential sale of Trade Me kicks up a notch.
US-based private equity firm Hellman - Friedman has put forth a proposal to acquire 100% of Trade Me Group's shares for a cash price of NZ$6.45 per share.
That proposal is up against Apax Partners' offer of $6.40 per share – and the competition is certainly good news for Trade Me's shareholders.
As of December 6 Trade Me shares on the NZX are sitting at $6.17 per share – a massive jump from just $5.20 on November 20. Trade Me is now valued at more than $2.5 billion.
Trade Me Group published an announcement this week stating that it has advised Apax Partners of Hellman - Friedman's proposal.
“Apax Partners is undertaking due diligence on an exclusive basis following its preliminary, non-binding, indicative proposal announced on 21 November 2018. This exclusivity is subject to a ‘fiduciary carve out' that allows Trade Me to engage with third parties on unsolicited proposals.
Apax Partners have until December 12 to conduct due diligence and propose a binding offer.
“The Board has decided that it is in the interests of Trade Me and consistent with its fiduciary obligations to also engage with Hellman - Friedman on the new proposal.
“The Board notes that there is no certainty either proposal will result in an offer, or any other transaction, for Trade Me.
“The Trade Me Board will keep the market updated on the third party discussions in line with its continuous disclosure obligations. The Board advises shareholders that they do not need to take any action in relation to either proposal and that they should not do so without assessing all available information and seeking professional advice.
Goldman Sachs is advisor to Trade Me over the potential sale.