Austal Confirms Receipt of Conditional Acquisition Proposal from Hanwha Ocean

The proposal suggests a cash offer of $2.825 per Austal share for shareholders.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 09:19 AM, April 2, 2024
  • 716
Austal Confirms Receipt of Conditional Acquisition Proposal from Hanwha Ocean
Offshore Patrol Vessel @Austal

Austal Limited confirmed on April 1, that it received an unsolicited, conditional, and non-binding indicative proposal from Hanwha Ocean Co., Ltd. regarding the acquisition of Austal through a scheme of arrangement.

The proposal suggests a cash offer of $2.825 per Austal share for shareholders.

The proposed acquisition is contingent upon various conditions, including regulatory approvals from entities such as Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and the U.S. Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency. Additionally, final approval from the Hanwha Board, unanimous recommendation from the Austal Board, and approval from Austal shareholders are prerequisites.

Austal highlighted the significant consideration involved in granting access to its confidential financial records, forecasts, and contracts during the due diligence process. The company evaluates multiple factors, including shareholder value creation and the potential purchaser's capability to secure necessary government approvals, especially given Austal's involvement in defense vessel construction for the Australian and U.S. navies.

The announcement by the Australian Government regarding Austal's Strategic Shipbuilding Agreement (SSA) adds complexity to any potential acquisition due to associated ownership clauses related to defense contracts.

Following careful deliberation, Austal's Board, along with its advisers, engaged with Hanwha to assess the feasibility of obtaining regulatory approvals in both Australia and the USA. Currently, Austal is uncertain about the likelihood of securing these approvals. Nevertheless, the company remains open to further engagement should Hanwha provide assurance regarding regulatory clearance.

It's important to note that Austal shareholders are under no obligation to take any action regarding Hanwha's proposal at this juncture.

This announcement, authorized for release by Austal Limited's Board, was disseminated through the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

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