Takeover nearer

Australian company Lempriere Holdings is nearing its proposed takeover of New Zealand Wool Services International, now holding more than 87% of shares in the company.

Wool Services International chairman Derek Kirke said shareholders who had not accepted the offer by WSI Holdings Pty Ltd, an associated company of Lempriere, should consider their position ''as this level of acceptances gives WSIH a high level of control''.

In a statement to the market, Mr Kirke said the directors of NZWSI and some senior management had all accepted the offer.

The offer was still subject to two conditions; that Overseas Investment Office approval was obtained, and that WSIH received a certificate from Apex Environmental Ltd confirming wastewater discharge levels at the company's Kaputone wool scour were less than the specified levels previously determined by WSIH and Apex.

Meeting that wastewater discharge condition was taking longer to achieve than originally anticipated due to technical and engineering issues, however the company was making ''solid progress'' towards obtaining the certificate, Mr Kirke said.

The company expected the OIO decision ''in the near future''.

The Commerce Commission granted authorisation to Cavalier Wool Holdings in 2011 to make an offer for WSI's wool-scouring assets. WSI later confirmed it was planning capital raising in its attempt to buy the 64% of the company owned by Plum Duff and Woolpak Holdings and under the control of a receiver. Lempriere's takeover bid was revealed in September last year.

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