SOUTH AFRICA – IA BELL, the family-owned company that holds 38.7 percent of Bell Equipment, is paying US$0.68 a share for an additional 31.7 percent stake that it is acquiring from John Deere.

The price is broadly in line with the market price but represents a deep discount to net asset value.

The struggling Bell Equipment said that the formal binding agreement for the acquisition by IA Bell of John Deere’s shareholding in the company had been concluded, but the conditions precedent had not yet been fulfilled.

Previous reports have suggested that IA Bell intends to buy out the minorities and delist Bell Equipment.

Bell Equipment makes a range of heavy equipment for the mining and other industries, and also has dealerships for equipment made by global manufacturing leaders such as Bomag and Finlay.

Bell Equipment said while it had not received notification of the fulfilment of the conditions, it had been advised by Bravura Capital, which provides corporate and advisory services for IA Bell, that the price payable to John Deere was US$0.68 a share.

Bell Equipment’s net asset value a share was US$2.45, according to the annual results to December 31, 2019, while net asset value a share of US$2.68 was disclosed in results for the six months to June 30, 2020.

“If the company receives notification of an offer regarding the acquisition of the minorities’ shareholding in Bell Equipment, it will comply with the Takeover Regulation Panel requirements,” the company said.

Bell Equipment requested tariff protection on off-road articulated dump trucks imported to South Africa.

The company recently announced that it expected to report a headline loss per share of at least 113 percent, for the year ended December 31, 2020.

It attributed the decrease in earnings mainly to weak economic conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic.

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