News

UK billionaire Joe Lewis’s stake in AA Co moves beyond 50pc

Jon Condon, 19/09/2022

A LARGE parcel of shares purchased on September 9 has pushed UK billionaire Joe Lewis’s steadily growing stake in the Australian Agricultural Co beyond 50 percent.

Mr Lewis’s Tavistock Investments, operating through its AA Trust, now holds 50.071 percent of Aa Co’s stock, and an equivalent proportion of its voting power.

He previously held 48.061pc of AA Co’s stock, but the acquisition of a further 6.09 million shares between September 9-12 took his stake beyond 50pc for the first time. He now holds almost 302 million AA Co shares, having crept up gradually since 2019.

Since the start of 2022 Tavistock has paid between $1.80 and $1.91 per share.

Joe Lewis

Tavistock first went past the 45pc shareholding threshold in August 2019.

Questions are again being asked about Foreign Investment Review Board scrutiny over the share movements, and ASIC regulations over whether Mr Lewis is now obliged to make a takeover bid.

Beef Central asked AA Co about the recent share movements and ASIC regulations about share ownership thresholds, receiving the following response:

We note that AA Trust (Tavistock) has lodged a Change in Substantial Holding Notice with the ASX declaring that it now holds 50.071pc of Australian Agricultural Co Ltd [ASX:AAC](AACo).

Tavistock has always been supportive of the AA Co’s strategy, and we expect that to continue. We’re delighted at the confidence this shows in the business, its performance, and the opportunities we are pursuing.

The Board, acting CEO and executive yeam remain focused on executing against the five pillars of the strategy and delivering value for all shareholders, as we deliver our vision to be trusted globally as the producers of the finest quality Australian beef.

AA Co’s stock was trading at $1.84 this morning, down from a 14-month high of $1.94 last Thursday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Michael Vail, 23/09/2022

    Under ASX’s annual ‘creep-provisions’, Joe doesn’t have to make a take-over-bid.

    He’s just protecting himself against Twiggy et al … IMO

    … at a fair-price … maybe.

  2. Anthony Yates, 20/09/2022

    As usual very little comes from the mouths of AACo and your question was played with a straight dead bat and the ASIC question completely ignored.

    It is very difficult to fully understand FIRB requirements in this particular situation after reading the website. However it appears as though it won’t be as easy for Joe to “steal” this Australian asset at below NTA once the market capitalisation reaches $1.25b.

    For accuracy Jon the share price peaked at $2.40 on 24th and 27th June which was the highest price achieved since October 2008.

  3. David Hopkins, 19/09/2022

    Good article and thanks for following this up for us shareholders. I cant think of any other asx company where minority shareholders arent aware of any FIRB approvals or restrictions that are placed on the major shareholder- how are these restriction on Tavistock impacting the running of the company- ie can AACo operate the business as required without needed FIRB approvals to lease land

  4. David Connellan, 19/09/2022

    As a shareholder, I feel entitled to know whether this means Joe Lewis can now do what he likes with the company, having a controlling interest. Will he seek additional board seats?

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