Takeover bid struggles to attract support

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Brisbane Markets Ltd (BML) has confirmed its belief that a hostile takeover bid for Queensland’s central food and vegetables markets has seen little interest from its shareholders.

BML owns and operates the Brisbane Markets site, which is subject to a takeover bid by Sydney based private equity firm VGI Partners and its wholly owned subsidiary Produce Markets Queensland (PMQ).

“Obviously, people can change their position, but clearly there is strong support to retain the current industry ownership structure,” BML CEO Andrew Price said.

Information that BML received had disproved exaggerated public claims by PMQ concerning “solid support among traders” for its offer Mr Young says. He added that BML’s biggest shareholder, industry group Brismark, reiterated its stance that there was no reason to change its consistent position of opposing the VGI/PMQ takeover.

“The Brismark board surveyed its 52 members and, at that time, 42 provided a written response supporting the Brismark board’s position and another four members provided verbal support,” Mr Young said. “Only four Brismark members have indicated any level of support for the bid.”

Mr Young said Brisbane Markets is performing well and continues to support the long-term interests of fresh fruit and vegetable growers, wholesalers and retailers.

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