Sydney private equity firm VGI Partners has announced it will not extend its offer of a hostile takeover bid of Brisbane Markets.
VGI had offered A$145m, or A$3.50 per share, for the Rocklea-based fruit and vegetable wholesale markets through its subsidiary Produce Market Queensland (PMQ), which expired at 5pm on 1 July after six months of campaigning to shareholders.
VGI still holds a stake in the Brisbane Markets through PMQ and, while unsuccessful in its takeover bid, said that it believed it had played an important role in starting a conversation around the need for change in the governance of the markets.
“With governance reform and management change we believe Brisbane Markets has a bright future,” said PMQ chairman David Jones in a company statement. “However, this bright future cannot be taken for granted and I encourage you to play an active role in considering what changes are needed to achieve this future.”
Brisbane Markets’ chairman Tony Joseph said PMQ’s hostile takeover bid “ultimately ran out of puff”.
“In my view, the proposed governance reforms which VGI says are required had one purpose, to enable VGI to take control of the company,” said Joseph in a statement released Friday. “Brismark, as the major industry group representing market tenants, made it very clear that [its] position was that VGI did not made a case for change, and that market tenants did not want a private equity fund as a landlord.
“Many also expressed their grave concerns about VGI’s lack of knowledge about how to operate and manage the markets.”