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Premier fails to get MBO backing

Premier Asset Management has failed to secure sufficient shareholder backing for its planned MBO.

Chief executive Mike O’Shea said earlier this month that the deal was imperative to prevent Premier becoming a target for a potentially hostile takeover, particularly if markets fell.

Premier said this week it was extending the deadline for the offer to August 24 after only managing to get support for the deal from 40.47 per cent of shareholders, less than half of the 90 per cent needed.

The bid, backed by Electra Partners, has been attacked by shareholders including Unicorn Asset Management and Water Hall Group. Both say it undervalues the business.

O’Shea said: “The asset management industry is cyclical so there is a certain dependency on the performance of the equ-ity market and, to an extent, we are at the behest of them, especially if markets struggle and we were subject to a takeover.”

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