Stokes ends National Hire battle

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Billionaire entrepreneur Kerry Stokes has snapped up the last 22 per cent of equipment renter National Hire, and opened the door to a possible refloating of Coates Hire.

Tasmanian businessman Dale Elphinstone last night accepted Stokes’s offer for his remaining stake in National Hire at $3.75 a share.

The offer is significantly higher than the takeover offer of $3.35 a share, but within the “fair value” $3.66 to $4.30 range outlined by a previous Deliotte study.

Elphinstone’s companies will walk away with $122 million in cash from the deal, while Stokes’s 7group will now look to delist National Hire.

As Australian Mining reported in its November issue, most experts are expecting Seven to look at refloating Coats Hire.

Coates is Australia’s largest general equipment hire company and the eighth largest globally.

It was previously owned by National Hire and private equity house Carlyle Group, which moved on the business around four years ago.

A refloating of Coates looks to make sense now that the company is experiencing high demand for equipment due to the resources boom.

Coates was previously refloated in August 1996 and early 2002, but was delisted in January 2008 by National Hire and Carlyle Group.

Image: www.ferret.com.au

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