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United Malt board toasts Malteries Soufflet scheme

United Malt Group Limited (ASX:UMG) has entered into a scheme implementation deed (SID) with Malteries Soufflet SAS, whereby Malteries Soufflet will acquire 100% of the shares in United Malt by way of a scheme of arrangement. Under the scheme, United Malt shareholders will receive $5.00 per share in cash, representing a 45.3% premium to United Malt’s closing share price on 24 March 24 2023 (Last Undisturbed Trading Date).

The United Malt directors unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the scheme, subject to the independent expert’s conclusion that it is in the best interests of the shareholders. The scheme is subject to various conditions, including shareholder approval and regulatory approvals.

United Malt Chairman, Graham Bradley, expressed his optimism about the scheme, stating, “The Scheme provides United Malt Shareholders with an opportunity to realize certain value for their United Malt Shares at an attractive premium. The Scheme Consideration represents a 45.3% premium to the undisturbed United Malt Share price at the time of the announcement of Malteries Soufflet’s Indicative Proposal.”

United Malt Managing Director and CEO, Mark Palmquist, highlighted the strategic benefits of the acquisition, saying, “The Scheme, if implemented, will provide an attractive value outcome for United Malt Shareholders. Malteries Soufflet is one of the world’s leading malt producers, operating 28 malt houses across Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and is a strong complement to our business.”

Palmquist further emphasised the growth opportunities that could arise from the scheme, stating, “If the Scheme is implemented, United Malt will have the opportunity to build on its strategic progress since the demerger and leverage the combined strengths and larger platform of both businesses to further capitalise on key growth opportunities.”

The scheme is subject to regulatory approvals, including merger control, antitrust, and foreign investment approvals. Additionally, it requires the approval of United Malt shareholders at the scheme meeting. A scheme booklet will be provided to shareholders, containing detailed information about the scheme and the reasons behind the board’s recommendation.

United Malt has also amended its existing debt facilities in collaboration with its lenders, providing additional financing certainty and flexibility during the scheme implementation process.

Renee Jacob, Investor Relations contact at United Malt, expressed the company’s commitment to keeping shareholders informed, stating, “United Malt will continue to keep United Malt Shareholders informed about the Scheme in accordance with its continuous disclosure obligations.”

United Malt’s scheme implementation with Malteries Soufflet represents a significant development for the company and its shareholders. If the scheme proceeds, it has the potential to deliver value and strategic advantages in the malt production industry.

Shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on the scheme and make an informed decision based on the scheme booklet provided by the company.