Hastings rejects APA's 'opportunistic' offer

THE takeover target Hastings Diversified has launched a spirited rejection of the offer from its rival, APA, arguing that it undervalues the pipeline owner.

THE takeover target Hastings Diversified has launched a spirited rejection of the offer from its rival, APA, arguing that it undervalues the pipeline owner.

APA has launched a cash and scrip offer for Hastings, with unit holders to receive 0.326 APA shares and 50? cash for each unit held. When the offer was launched last month it valued Hastings at $2 per unit.

In its target statement yesterday, Hastings said the offer was opportunistic as it came at a time when revenues were set to grow strongly. It also argued the offer was "highly conditional and uncertain".

The upgrading of part of its pipeline network in Queensland has led to a new $460 million long-term contract, believed to be with Santos. Other contracts are likely to be finalised to provide further growth.

Existing contracts indicate Hastings will enjoy annual compound growth averaging 15.5 per cent in the five years to 2015, the target said.

The bid failed to value "significant contracted revenues of over $4 billion which will be earned over the next 23 years and significant revenue growth in the short term and beyond", Hastings said.

APA hit back, criticising the lack of an independent valuation of Hastings in the company's target statement.

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