Village Roadshow caught in potential bidding war

A new bidder has emerged for Village Roadshow, with the entertainment company receiving a bid of $4 cash per share from private equity firm BGH Capital.

The bid comes a month after Pacific Equity Partners offered $3.90 per share in its takeover bid in December.

Village Roadshow’s shares closed at $3.20 per share on 18 December, the day before Pacific Equity Partners made its bid for the company. The two bids are being assessed by an independent committee.

BGH Capital is offering an all-cash consideration for the business, or a combination of cash and unlisted shares in a new holding company. In the meantime, Village Roadshow shareholders have been instructed to take no action.

BGH is led by former investment bankers Robin Bishop, Ben Gray and Simon Harle. Village Roadshow is currently 40% owned by the Kirby family and former CEO Graham Burke. In early 2019 it was announced Burke would be stepping down at the end of the year after 30 years at the helm. Clark Kirby is set to replace him, although fractured relationships inside the family have had a detrimental impact on the share price in the past. Former News Corp and Foxtel CEO, Peter Tonagh, joined the Village Roadshow board in 2019.

According to reporting by the Sydney Morning Herald from 2019, the company fielded a takeover bid from BGH before the PEP takeover offer.

Considerations are expected to take at least another month before a deal is settled on.


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