Brian Joffe. Picture: MARTIN RHODES
Brian Joffe. Picture: MARTIN RHODES

Long4Life’s share price took a slide on Tuesday as the newly listed investment group increased its offer to acquire sports retailer Holdsport.

Long4Life’s share price dropped almost 22% on the revised offer, which is still subject to approval. CEO Brian Joffe described the deal as "transformational" as it would greatly improve gearing capacity while the group pursued more acquisitions in coming months.

The revised offer was a choice between 12.1 Long4Life shares for each Holdsport share, or 11.2 shares plus R5 cash, the companies said. The cash offer is capped at R204m.

This beat an earlier offer of swapping 10.44 Long4Life shares for each Holdsport share — this amounts to a valuation of about R2.6bn.

At Long4Life’s closing price of R7.80 on Monday, 12.1 of its shares were worth R94.38, a 44% premium to Holdsport’s R65.55 at the time.

At the close of the JSE on Tuesday, Long4Life was trading at R6.06, meaning its offer was worth R73.33 per Holdsport share, a valuation of R2.93bn for the sports retailer.

Holdsport, which closed up 1.75% at R66.70, had a market capitalisation of R2.87bn.

Joffe said the acquisition would enable Life4Life to double its market capitalisation, as Holdsport had significant intangible assets and brands that had not yet been fully developed.

The market reaction on Tuesday was unsurprising but the potential acquisition, and the arbitrage opportunity, had been known for some time, he said.

"It is going to be a bit rocky with more acquisitions in the next three months, as this is in its infancy, so we expect some share price volatility," Joffe said.

Long4Life listed on the JSE on April 7, rising to a high of R7.50 from the R5 that institutional investors paid.

Fairtree Capital’s Jean Pierre Verster said Tuesday’s share price movements implied that shareholders were ascribing a high probability of the Holdsport deal going through.

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