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WAM sees court win over Keybridge

Keybridge Capital has lost its legal battle against WAM Active over the latter's takeover attempts from last year.

In June 2020, Keybridge launched legal proceedings against WAM alleging it had improperly transferred 16 million Keybridge shares into its own name.

Prior to the filing, WAM launched a number of takeover bids for Keybridge but to no success. Keybridge chief executive Nicholas Bolton alleged WAM transferred the shares in a bid to control the company.

Over the holiday period, the Takeovers Panel determined that both of WAM's prior takeover bids were void.

"WAM Active sought, through the proceedings, to have the court extend the time upon which it was able to have given Keybridge notice under s630 of the Corporations Act," Keybridge said in a statement.

"The implications of the late notice were that WAM Active would not have been able to lawfully acquire all of the processed shares, even if the Takeovers Panel had not determined the bid to be void."

However, the Supreme Court ruled against Keybridge and costs were awarded against the company.

"The NSW Supreme Court decision did not accord with the decision of the two Takeover Panels and, in Keybridge's view, creates a material uncertainty in the Australian takeovers framework, such that a bidder can defer its decision whether to rely on triggered prescribed occurrences condition until the third day after the close of a bid," Keybridge said.

Keybridge said it is not considering whether to appeal the decision. It said it feels as though shareholders should have certainty seven days prior to the close of a bid that the bidder is bound to the contracts.

Read more: WAMKeybridge CapitalNicholas Bolton
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