3E bid for LB receives more backing

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Two more major shareholders as well as another board member of Lanitis Bros. threw their support behind the takeover bid submitted by 3E (Cyprus) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Greek Bottling Co, the bottlers of Coca-Cola, making the CYP 43 mln bid a foregone success.

The deal, which until recently enjoyed the support of Lanitis Bros. (LB) majority shareholder, Vladimiros Lanitis’ backing with a 50.6% stake, received board backing as well as support from Ive Lanitis with a 7.62% stake and Mike Spanos with a 6.93% stake after independent consultants HLB Afxentiou & Co. said the takeover bid was fair and in the best interests of shareholders.

With the three majority shareholders holding 65.16% of the share capital of LB backing the 3E bid, its now up to the rest of the LB shareholders owning 34.85% of the outstanding 250 mln shares to decide whether or not to accept the 17.2c cash bid made by 3E seeking 100% control.

If 3E manages to wrest more than 90% control of LB, then it will seek to delist the titles of the company from the CSE. The period of acceptance of the Public Offer by shareholders is from 27 January 2006 untill 10 March 2006.

(a detailed analysis of HLB Afxentiou & Co. reason why they are backing the deal in the Subscriber section or print edition of the Financial Mirror due on Feb 15)