Hunter Hall reported a 68% drop in statutory profit at the same time Pinnacle leapfrogged Washington H. Soul Pattinson's takeover bid and a third investor declared its intention to buy 20% of the company.
John Bridgeman Limited (JBL), acting as investment manager of Henry Morgan, has been issuing instructions to affiliated brokers to acquire shares in Hunter Hall up to 20% at prices up to $2.40 per share; JBL managing director Stuart McAuliffe said that Pinnacle and WHSP's takeover bids "significantly undervalue the shares in HHL."
It's worth noting, though, that just after WHSP matched Pinnacle's $2 per share takeover bid, Pinnacle has now increased its bid to $2.20 per share once its acquires over 24% of the company. Any Hunter Hall shareholders who already accepted Pinnacle's current offer will be entitled for an additional 20 cent-per-share cash consideration.
This news comes at the same time as Hunter Hall's half-year results, where, as above, the company reported a statutory net profit after tax of $1.3 million, 68% down on the $4.4 million reported in the prior corresponding period. Hunter Hall attributed this to the company not earning any performance fees or realising any gains on its investment portfolio over the period.
Hunter Hall chair Kevin Eley said that despite the fall in profit, "reporting a pre-tax operating profit from investment management which is 13.8% higher than the comparable period is a pleasing result for the business. This strong result is a testament to the quality of the team we have at Hunter Hall."