Link share

Link Group’s misery with shares less than half the IPO price

Dye & Durham CEO Matthew Proud.

Dye & Durham has made 25 acquisitions in nine years as part of its chief executive’s aggressive global growth strategy.

“We plan to continue to focus on deploying capital to transactions with attractive economics, stable cash flows and significant growth potential and to optimize them to generate additional shareholder value.”

Dye & Durham’s takeover proposal for Link came the closest of four different takeover attempts at Link by various parties over the past two years.

Link shareholders had already approved the takeover at a program meeting, but it has been derailed in recent weeks by rulings from Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority over the collapse of a Woodford retail fund in mid -2019 in the UK which was administered by the UK subsidiary of Link. , Fund Solutions link.

Link’s UK subsidiary was hit with an additional £50 million ($85 million) fine by the FCA on September 21, after it had already been asked to set aside $519 million in funds before authorize the $2.5 billion buyout deal.

Link’s most valuable asset is the 42.8% stake in electronic property settlement firm PEXA, a near-monopoly electronic transfer operator in Australia. PEXA is fully listed on the ASX.

Dye & Durham first made an agreed takeover offer for Link in December, then revised it down to $4.81 per share in July to reflect a sharp reduction in tech stock valuations and overall stock market weakness. as central banks raised interest rates around the world.

Nearly a week ago, he made another revised proposal that contained a two-part deferred payment mechanism, after FCA’s request for $519 million in funds to be set aside following the collapse of the Woodford retail fund in the UK. This Woodford Equity Income Fund was frozen in mid-2019. But Link’s board rejected the two-part payment option.

Two UK law firms, Leigh Day and Harcus Parker, are suing the subsidiary in UK courts in a separate class action on behalf of 20,000 retail investors.

The FCA have investigated the collapse of the £3.7billion fund managed by deposed star manager Neil Woodford. Once known as the ‘Oracle of Oxford’ after a 25-year career as a fund manager at Invesco Perpetual, Mr Woodford had a large following among retail investors when he went out on his own.

US private equity firm The Carlyle Group pulled out after weeks of detailed due diligence late last year after an initial bid of $5.38 a share. This offer consisted of two elements: $3 for Link’s core business and a pro rata distribution of Link’s stake in PEXA to Link shareholders.

In late 2020, Carlyle and Pacific Equity Partners sued Link in a combined tilt in which an indicative offer reached $5.40. US group SS&C Technologies made a $3 billion takeover bid at the end of 2020, but pulled out after a month of due diligence.