Howden Africa provides environmental controls to power stations, such as Eskom's Duvha, outside eMalahleni in Mpumalanga. Picture: WALDO SWIEGERS
Howden Africa provides environmental controls to power stations, such as Eskom's Duvha, outside eMalahleni in Mpumalanga. Picture: WALDO SWIEGERS

Those Howden Africa shareholders who refuse its R44 per share offer to buy itself off the JSE can remain shareholders in the unlisted company, the investment holding company said in a statement on Wednesday morning.

At a shareholder meeting on December 12, a group of minority shareholders representing 15.86% of the votes cast said no to Howden’s offer.

Dissenting shareholders include Standard Bank Nominees, JR Nominees, and Invesco Canadian Small Companies Fund.

Howden said that since more than half of minority shareholders accepted its offer, it will proceed with its exit from the JSE on February 26, paying those shareholders who accepted their R44 per share. It does not, however, have sufficient support from minority investors to force the dissenting shareholders to sell.

“Eligible shareholders who do not accept the general offer will remain shareholders in the unlisted company, with the tradeability of their Howden Africa shares being limited,” Wednesday’s statement said.

In terms of the Competition Act, Howden has 10 business days to challenge the dissenting shareholders in court, or treat the scheme resolution as a nullity.

Given the potential protracted nature of an opposed court application and the resultant time delays in making payment to shareholders, Howden said its board had resolved “to treat the scheme resolution as a nullity and proceed with the general offer”.

laingr@businesslive.co.za