Godfreys appoints Independent Board Committee to review takeover bid

The committee will assess and respond to cofounder's takeover bid.

Vacuum retailer Godfreys has appointed an Independent Board Committee (IBC) to assess and respond to the takeover offer lodged by the company’s 99-year old cofounder, John Johnston.

Johnston, a director of Arcade Finance (the largest holder of Godfreys shares) submitted a conditional all-cash off-market takeover bid on 9 April.

Johnston, who first launched Godfreys in 1936 with Godfrey Cohen in Melbourne, offered 0.32 cents a share in an all-cash bid that values the business at about $13 million.

The IBC comprises of four non-executive directors of Godfreys who are independent of Arcade; Brendan Fleiter, Sue Morphet, Penny Burke and Kathy Gramp.

The IBC has appointed KPMG Corporate Finance as financial adviser and Clayton Utz as legal adviser to assist Godfreys and the IBC in assessing and responding to the offer.

The IBC has also appointed BDO as independent expert to provide an opinion as to whether the offer is fair and reasonable.

In a statement to the ASX, Godfreys chairman Brendan Fleiter said the company will provide a target statement to shareholders within the required period after the release of Arcade’s Bidder’s Statement, which will include the independent expert’s report and the board’s recommendation on the offer.

“Godfreys will keep shareholders informed of any further developments and will continue to act in shareholders’ best interests to maximise the value attainable from any transaction,” said Fleiter.

Godfreys has urged shareholders to not take action following the bid. If successful, Godfreys would be removed from the Australian Securities Exchange and returned to private ownership under Johnston.

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