From Little Things…

From Little Things…

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The Australian beer scene has woken to the news this morning that Lion has made an offer for Little World Beverages – known for brands such as Little Creatures, White Rabbit and Pipsqueak Cider – and that the board of Little World Beverages has recommended that its shareholders approve the offer. Lion, which was a foundation shareholder in the Fremantle based business and which currently owns 36.3% of the business, has made a substantial offer that will be formally presented to shareholders, with a meeting to approve the offer expected to be held in October.

The unsolicited offer from Lion was made to the Little World Beverages board at the end of last week, who met over the weekend and made their decision to recommend to shareholders late last night. It is a move that was expected, according to staff, but not necessarily this soon. Lion has committed to maintaining the operation of the Little Creatures brewery in Fremantle and Healesville’s White Rabbit brewery. Work will also continue on the new brewery development in Geelong.

On behalf of all the founding shareholders of LWB, directors Nic Trimboli and Howard Cearns released the following comment: “Lion has been a supportive shareholder from the beginning of the Little World journey. While in one sense we are sad to be at this point, we are gratified that the brands we have created will not only be preserved, but will be given the opportunity to achieve even higher levels of recognition and success that they deserve on the national and international stage. This outcome is a great credit to the management and staff that have contributed to the Little Creatures Brewing story.”

The full media release concerning the planned acquisition reads:

Monday 18 June 2012: Lion confirmed today that it has reached an agreement with the Board of Little World Beverages to acquire the shares in Little World Beverages it does not already own by way of a Scheme of Arrangement (“Scheme”). Under the Scheme, Lion proposes to offer Little World Beverages shareholders $5.30 per share in cash (“the Offer”) subject to the successful implementation of the Scheme.

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