By Richard Wilson
February 5, 2008
As Village Roadshow's $6.50 per share offer nears closure, two big shareholders of Sydney Attractions Group decided to accept Village's offer resulting in Village gaining voting control of the Group.
With Village Roadshow now the majority shareholder, Sydney Attractions Group has suggested that remaining shareholders accept the offer rather than remain as minority shareholders.
Though the Group still feels that the Village offer undervalues the company they believe that with Village in control of the company, their best bet is for shareholders to accept. Chairman of Sydney Attractions Group Bill Wright said, "The Board continues to believe that the offer substantially undervalues the company but we can no longer be confident that there will be an opportunity to realise this value. We are leaving the company well positioned with strong earnings and cash flow that are continuing to grow."
Village Roadshow welcomed Sydney Attractions' shareholder recommendation with their CEO Graham Burke saying, "This is a compelling offer and provides remaining Sydney Attractions Group shareholders with an opportunity to realise value that would not otherwise be available at a time of great uncertainty in financial markets, and to exit a stock with reduced liquidity."
Along with their acquisition of 50% of shares in the Sydney-based tourism operator, Village will now seek to make appropriate changes to the company to reflect their controlling interest. The first such change will be appointing its own executives to the company's board of directors. The new board members include Village chief operating officer Peter Foo, chief marketing officer Tim Carroll and Warner Village Theme Parks chief John Menzies.
Sydney Attractions Group owns and operates a handful of iconic Sydney attractions including the Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World (pictured), Sydney Tower. Village Roadshow hopes to inject its own expertise from operating Gold Coast theme parks and maximise cross-promotional and marketing potential to boost the performance of the company.