Court okays Wills , Rothmans merger
The Supreme Court of New South Wales on Monday approved the merger of tobacco manufacturers W.D. & H.O. Wills Holdings Ltd and Rothmans Holdings Ltd.
Under the merger scheme, minority shareholders in Wills, which is 67.3 percent owned by British American Tobacco Plc (quote from Yahoo! UK & Ireland: BATS.L), would be offered A$6.25 per share -- consisting of A$4.75 cash and a A$0.50 special dividend -- by Rothmans, with the merged entity to ultimately trade on the Australian Stock Exchange as British American Tobacco (Australasia) Ltd.
The Australian unit of British American Tobacco would then be paid A$342 million or A$3.85 per share for its stake in Wills and use the funds to buy a 59.5 percent stake in Rothmans Holdings at A$13.50 per share.
The merged group would then sell a raft of Australian and New Zealand brands including Horizon, Escort, JPS/John Player, Brandon and Peter Stuyvesant for A$325 million to Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group Plc