Ardagh: directors confident of vote success

Directors of glass maker Ardagh are confident of winning a shareholders vote on 15 January 2003 to demerge the listed company“s glass-making operations..
Shareholders vote on the proposal to demerge…

Directors of glass maker Ardagh are confident of winning a shareholders vote on 15 January 2003 to demerge the listed company“s glass-making operations.. Shareholders vote on the proposal to demerge the glass-making operations – Rockware in Britain and Consumers Glass in Italy – from the group and move them to a private group incorporated in Guernsey. The deadline for shareholders voting by proxy was the close of business 13 January 2003. The company directors can count on the support of almost 58% of the shares. They will require 75% of the shares voted on the day to win the key votes but are confident of achieving this. “Our intention is to push through the resolutions to implement our proposal,” said chief executive Mr Eddie Kilty. “We feel we can succeed. “What we are trying to do is to create extremely good value for shareholders.” The company reasons that, with 30.6% shareholder HgCapital taking cash, those shareholders opting for the arrangement will have a larger stake of the glass-making business than under the existing arrangement. The Ardagh board has explained the move as a response to HgCapital“s desire to abandon its position, the low rating of the company in the market and the resulting difficulty in raising finance for development. The deal has been attacked for not giving investors a reasonable opportunity to opt out. Some angry shareholders have complained to the Irish Stock Exchangeabout Mr Coulson“s Yeoman International: besidespushing the proposal and which will result in Yeoman being the dominant investor by far in the new company, he will also benefit from the financing arrangements for the deal. Mr Coulson“s Yeoman International has supplied some of the funding for the move on which he will receive interest and he will also take an arrangement fee for financing arranged with Anglo Irish bank. The Irish Stock Exchange has repeatedly refused to comment on the affair. A report by the company“s stockbroker, Davy, commends the offer of a continued stake for shareholders as “possibly the most important element” of the deal. However, it fails to mention that the Quinn offer offers the same possibility along with a defined exit procedure for those wanting to sell those shares later.