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Greene King PLC (GNK)

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Wednesday 18 September, 2019

Greene King PLC

Recommended cash acquisition of Greene King

RNS Number : 8183M
Greene King PLC
18 September 2019
 

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN, INTO OR FROM ANY JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OF SUCH JURISDICTION

 

18 September 2019

RECOMMENDED CASH ACQUISITION

for

Greene King plc ("Greene King")

by

CK Noble (UK) Limited ("CK Bidco")

(a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of CK Asset Holdings Limited ("CKA"))

CKA General Meeting irrevocable undertaking

 

Further to the publication of the scheme document by Greene King (the "Scheme Document") in relation to the recommended cash offer by CK Bidco for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Greene King, not already owned by or on behalf of the CKA Group (the "Acquisition"), Greene King has on 17 September 2019 received an irrevocable undertaking from the trustees of the Li family trusts, being (i) Li Ka-Shing Unity Trustee Company Limited as trustee of The Li Ka-Shing Unity Trust, (ii) Li Ka-Shing Castle Trustee Company Limited as a trustee of The Li Ka-Shing Castle Trust and (iii) Li Ka-Shing Castle Trustee Corporation Limited as trustee of a discretionary trust, to vote in favour of the Acquisition at the CKA General Meeting with respect to, in aggregate, 1,160,195,710 CKA Shares, representing approximately 31.41 per cent of CKA's total issued share capital as at the date of this announcement.

This irrevocable undertaking will cease to be binding and be of no effect if and on the earlier of the following events:

(i)         it is agreed in writing between CKA, CK Bidco and Greene King;

(ii)        the Scheme has not become effective (or, if applicable, the Takeover Offer has not become or been declared unconditional in all respects) by 11.59 p.m. on the Long Stop Date;

(iii)       the Scheme lapses or is withdrawn in accordance with its terms and CK Bidco publicly confirms that it does not intend to proceed with the Acquisition by way of a Takeover Offer; or

(iv)       there is a Greene King Adverse Recommendation Change.

A copy of the irrevocable undertaking will be made available on Greene King's website at https://www.greeneking.co.uk/investor-centre/recommended-cash-offer/.

Defined terms used in this announcement have the same meaning as set out in Part VIII to the Scheme Document.

Enquiries:

Greene King

Nick Mackenzie, Chief Executive                                                Tel: +44(0) 12 8476 3222
Richard Smothers, Chief Financial Officer

Citigroup Global Markets Limited (joint financial adviser
and joint corporate broker to Greene King)

David Wormsley                                                                         Tel: +44(0) 20 7986 4000
Andrew Seaton
Edward McBride
Christopher Wren

Rothschild & Co (joint financial adviser to Greene King)

John Deans                                                                               Tel: +44(0) 20 7280 5000
Edward Duckett
Ashley Gillard

Peel Hunt (joint corporate broker to Greene King)

Dan Webster                                                                            Tel: +44(0) 20 7418 8869

Finsbury (PR adviser to Greene King)

Alastair Hetherington                                                                 Tel: +44(0) 20 7251 3801
Philip Walters

Linklaters LLP is acting as legal adviser to Greene King

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

Citigroup Global Markets Limited ("Citigroup"), which is authorised by the PRA and regulated in the UK by the FCA and the PRA, is acting exclusively as financial adviser for Greene King and no one else in connection with the Acquisition and other matters described in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Greene King for providing the protections afforded to clients of Citigroup nor for providing advice in connection with any matter referred to herein. Neither Citigroup nor any of its affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Citigroup in connection with this announcement, any statement contained herein, the Acquisition or otherwise.

N.M. Rothschild and Sons Limited ("Rothschild & Co"), which is authorised and regulated by the FCA in the United Kingdom, is acting as financial adviser to Greene King and no one else in connection with the matters described in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Greene King for providing the protections afforded to clients of Rothschild & Co nor for providing advice in connection with any matter referred to herein. Neither Rothschild & Co nor any of its affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Rothschild & Co in connection with this announcement, any statement contained herein, the Acquisition or otherwise.

Peel Hunt LLP ("Peel Hunt"), which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the FCA, is acting exclusively for Greene King and for no one else in connection with the matters set out in this announcement and will not regard any other person as its client in relation to the matters referred to in this announcement and the offer and will not be responsible to anyone other than Greene King for providing the protections afforded to its clients or for providing advice in relation to the Acquisition or any other matter or arrangement referred to in this announcement.

This announcement is for information purposes only and is not intended to, and does not, constitute or form part of any offer or invitation to purchase, otherwise acquire, subscribe for, sell or otherwise dispose of, any securities or the solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction pursuant to the Acquisition or otherwise. The Acquisition is being made solely by means of the Scheme Document (or, if the Acquisition is implemented by way of a Takeover Offer, the offer document), which contains the full terms and conditions of the Acquisition, including details of how to vote in respect of the Acquisition. Any acceptance or other response to the Acquisition should be made only on the basis of the information in the Scheme Document (or, if the Acquisition is implemented by way of a Takeover Offer, the offer document).

Overseas Shareholders

This announcement has been prepared in accordance with English law, the Takeover Code, the Market Abuse Regulation and the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules and information disclosed may not be the same as that which would have been prepared in accordance with the laws of jurisdictions outside England.

The availability of the Acquisition to Greene King Shareholders who are not resident in and citizens of the United Kingdom may be affected by the laws of the relevant jurisdictions in which they are located or of which they are citizens. Persons who are not resident in the United Kingdom should inform themselves of, and observe, any applicable legal or regulatory requirements of their jurisdictions. In particular, the ability of persons who are not resident in the United Kingdom to vote their Greene King Shares with respect to the Scheme at the Court Meeting, or to appoint another person as proxy to vote at the Court Meeting on their behalf, may be affected by the laws of the relevant jurisdictions in which they are located. Any failure to comply with the applicable restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, the companies and persons involved in the Acquisition disclaim any responsibility or liability for the violation of such restrictions by any person. Further details in relation to Overseas Shareholders are contained in the Scheme Document.

Unless otherwise determined by CK Bidco or required by the Takeover Code, and permitted by applicable law and regulation, the Acquisition is not being made available, directly or indirectly, in, into or from a Restricted Jurisdiction where to do so would violate the laws in that jurisdiction and no person may vote in favour of the Scheme by any such use, means, instrumentality or from within a Restricted Jurisdiction or any other jurisdiction if to do so would constitute a violation of the laws of that jurisdiction. Copies of this announcement and any formal documentation relating to the Acquisition are not being, and must not be, directly or indirectly, mailed or otherwise forwarded, distributed or sent in or into or from any Restricted Jurisdiction and persons receiving such documents (including custodians, nominees and trustees) must not mail or otherwise forward, distribute or send it in or into or from any Restricted Jurisdiction. Doing so may render invalid any related purported vote in respect of the Acquisition. If the Acquisition is implemented by way of a Takeover Offer (unless otherwise permitted by applicable law and regulation), the Takeover Offer may not be made directly or indirectly, in or into, or by the use of mails or any means or instrumentality (including, but not limited to, facsimile, e-mail or other electronic transmission, telex or telephone) of interstate or foreign commerce of, or of any facility of a national, state or other securities exchange of any Restricted Jurisdiction and the Takeover Offer may not be capable of acceptance by any such use, means, instrumentality or facilities.

In accordance with the Takeover Code, normal United Kingdom market practice and Rule 14e-5(b) of the US Exchange Act, Citigroup and its respective affiliates will continue to act as exempt principal trader in Greene King securities on the London Stock Exchange. These purchases and activities by exempt principal traders which are required to be made public in the United Kingdom pursuant to the Takeover Code will be reported to a Regulatory Information Service and will be available on the London Stock Exchange website at www.londonstockexchange.com. This information will also be publicly disclosed in the United States to the extent that such information is made public in the United Kingdom.

Notice to US investors in Greene King

The Acquisition relates to the shares of an English company and is being made by means of a Scheme of arrangement provided for under English company law.  A transaction effected by means of a scheme of arrangement is not subject to the tender offer or proxy solicitation rules under the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "US Exchange Act").  Accordingly, the Acquisition is subject to the disclosure requirements and practices applicable in the United Kingdom to schemes of arrangement which differ from the disclosure requirements of the US tender offer and proxy solicitation rules. 

If, in the future, CK Bidco exercises its right to implement the Acquisition by way of a Takeover Offer, which is to be made into the US, such Takeover Offer will be made in compliance with the applicable US laws and regulations, including Section 14(e) and Regulation 14E under the US Exchange Act.

It may be difficult for US holders of Greene King Shares and Greene King ADR Holders to enforce their rights and any claim arising out of the US federal laws, since CK Bidco and Greene King are located in a non-US jurisdiction, and some or all of their officers and directors may be residents of a non-US jurisdiction. US holders of Greene King Shares and Greene King ADR Holders may not be able to sue a non-US company or its officers or directors in a non-US court for violations of the US securities laws. Further, it may be difficult to compel a non-US company and its affiliates to subject themselves to a US court's judgement.

Neither the US Securities and Exchange Commission nor any US state securities commission has approved or disapproved of the Acquisition, or determined if this announcement is accurate or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offence in the US.

US Greene King Shareholders and Greene King ADR Holders also should be aware that the transaction contemplated herein may have tax consequences in the US and, that such consequences, if any, are not described herein. US Greene King Shareholders and Greene King ADR Holders are urged to consult with legal, tax and financial advisers in connection with making a decision regarding this transaction.

Disclosure requirements of the Code

Under Rule 8.3(a) of the Code, any person who is interested in 1% or more of any class of relevant securities of an offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror (being any offeror other than an offeror in respect of which it has been announced that its offer is, or is likely to be, solely in cash) must make an Opening Position Disclosure following the commencement of the offer period and, if later, following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified. An Opening Position Disclosure must contain details of the person's interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror(s). An Opening Position Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(a) applies must be made by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the 10th business day following the commencement of the offer period and, if appropriate, by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the 10th business day following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified. Relevant persons who deal in the relevant securities of the offeree company or of a securities exchange offeror prior to the deadline for making an Opening Position Disclosure must instead make a Dealing Disclosure.

Under Rule 8.3(b) of the Code, any person who is, or becomes, interested in 1% or more of any class of relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror must make a Dealing Disclosure if the person deals in any relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror. A Dealing Disclosure must contain details of the dealing concerned and of the person's interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror, save to the extent that these details have previously been disclosed under Rule 8. A Dealing Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(b) applies must be made by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the business day following the date of the relevant dealing.

If two or more persons act together pursuant to an agreement or understanding, whether formal or informal, to acquire or control an interest in relevant securities of an offeree company or a securities exchange offeror, they will be deemed to be a single person for the purpose of Rule 8.3.

Opening Position Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company and by any offeror and Dealing Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company, by any offeror and by any persons acting in concert with any of them (see Rules 8.1, 8.2 and 8.4).

Details of the offeree and offeror companies in respect of whose relevant securities Opening Position Disclosures and Dealing Disclosures must be made can be found in the Disclosure Table on the Takeover Panel's website at http://www.thetakeoverpanel.org.uk, including details of the number of relevant securities in issue, when the offer period commenced and when any offeror was first identified. If you are in any doubt as to whether you are required to make an Opening Position Disclosure or a Dealing Disclosure, you should contact the Takeover Panel's Market Surveillance Unit on +44 (0)20 7638 0129.

Publication on Website

A copy of this announcement will be made available, subject to certain restrictions relating to persons resident in Restricted Jurisdictions, on Greene King's website at https://www.greeneking.co.uk/investor-centre/recommended-cash-offer promptly and in any event by no later than 12 noon (London time) on the Business Day following the publication of this announcement. For the avoidance of doubt, the contents of these websites are not incorporated into and do not form part of this announcement.

 


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.rns.com.
 
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