Japan’s Persol unveils $778m takeover bid for Programmed

Programmed Maintenance Services has received a $778 million takeover bid from Japan’s Persol Holdings.

The board of Perth-based Programmed, which provides staffing, maintenance and facility management services to mining and other industries, has unanimously recommended its shareholders vote in favour of the proposal.

Persol, one of Japan’s largest staffing companies, plans to acquire Programmed for $3.02 per share in cash, which is a 68 per cent premium on its closing price of $1.80 on July 13.

Programmed chairman Bruce Brook said the proposal from Persol represented “compelling value” for the company’s shares and provided an opportunity for its shareholders to realise this value.

“We consider that the offer price of $3.02 per share fairly reflects the considerable value Persol places on our strategic plan, the capability of Programmed people to deliver it, and our strong market positions,” Brook said.

“Persol has made it clear that it intends to work with the Programmed management team to support and invest in delivering Programmed’s current growth strategy.”

Programmed’s managing director and chief executive officer, Chris Sutherland, and other senior management have committed to continue with the business.

Sutherland said Persol chose Programmed as its platform for growth in the Australia and New Zealand markets.

“It is important to emphasise that Programmed will remain an Australian company operating across Australia and New Zealand, employing thousands of Australians and New Zealanders, with its headquarters in Perth, Western Australia,” Sutherland said.

It is expected that Programmed’s shareholders will vote on Persol’s proposal in early October.