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Private equity circles as PMP responds to takeover speculation

Thursday, 19 October 2006
By Print21
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David Rowland, company secretary for PMP, says the company has a policy of not responding to market speculation and rumour, but its hand was forced when it received a specific request from the Australian Stock Exchange to explain the sudden spike in the company’s share price.

“Like many other companies, PMP has been approached by private equity. No firm offer to acquire PMP has been made,” says Rowland.

“PMP is not aware of any explanation for the recent price change and increase in volume of it’s trading shares,” other than the approach from private equity, the statement says. PMP has not revealed which particular private equity firm the approach has come from, but reports in The Age speculate that CVC Asia Pacific, part of Citigroup, may have been the company behind the approach.

The company has engaged Gresham Advisory Partners as speculation intensifies that CEO Brian Evans may attempt to organise a management buyout of the debt-ridden giant. In the current frenzy of media consolidation taking the printing giant out of the public eye would make sense on many levels.

The ASX announcement caused PMP’s share price to skyrocket further, rising 16 cents yesterday, or 9.28 per cent, to $1.88 — the company’s biggest one-day gain in three years and its highest level since 2001.

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