Skilled walks a fine line in rejecting Programmed's merger

Chairman Vickki McFadden was wise to tread carefully in her rejection of Programmed's proposed merger but the market's reaction suggests Skilled's smaller competitor may not return with the terms she's looking for.

As a highly respected investment banker in an earlier phase of her professional life, Skilled Group chairman Vickki McFadden would have been well aware she needed to walk a very careful and nuanced line in rejecting merger overtures from Programmed Maintenance Services that have been embraced by some sections of the market and Skilled’s shareholder base.

Thus, in rejecting the largely scrip-based approach from Skilled’s smaller competitor, McFadden has conceded that there is some "industrial logic" to the combination, but argued that it isn’t compelling.

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