James Herbst. Picture: HUGE GROUP
James Herbst. Picture: HUGE GROUP

The Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP), which oversees mergers and acquisitions in SA, has told Huge Group to take down a set of videos on its website related to its takeover bid for fellow technology player, Adapt IT. 

Earlier this year, Huge made an R800m bid to buy out Adapt IT, which provides software solutions to the education, manufacturing, energy, financial services, communications and hospitality sectors.

Adapt IT is also reviewing an offer from Canadian-based Volaris.

As part of its campaign to win over Adapt IT shareholders, Huge had created a set of videos, available on its website, touting the benefits of its offer. 

On Wednesday, Huge said it had been notified by the TRP that the videos constitute “announcements” in respect of which approval from the TRP ought to have been sought prior to publication. “Accordingly, Huge has removed the videos from its website and retracts the statements they contain,” the group said in a statement. 

The battle to buy Adapt IT’s business has intensified in recent weeks.

On Wednesday, Adapt IT warned shareholders not to be pressured into making a decision regarding an unsolicited buyout offer by Huge after it received information that some of its shareholders are being coerced to make a decision about the Huge offer by April 22. However, shareholders have until July 23 to do so. 

On April 1, Volaris made a R6.50 per share offer, or a 56% premium on the IT group’s closing share price, throwing into doubt the all-paper takeover offer from Huge.

All this comes on the heels of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) clearing Huge of suspicious activity related to its buyout offer for Adapt IT.

gavazam@businesslive.co.za

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