Japanese beer maker Kirin Holdings' $3.5-billion bid for the 54-per cent stake it doesn't own in Australian beverage group Lion Nathan gained credibility with a private corporate advisory firm Lonergan Edwards valuing the target company at between $10.95 and $12.21 a share.
Lion yesterday released a scheme booklet setting out the procedure by which the merger will be executed, including a report from Lonergan Edwards.
The report concluded that it was therefore in the best interests of shareholders to accept Kirin's offer of $12 cash per share, which included a 50-cent special dividend.
Shareholders other than Kirin, which already has a 46 per cent stake in Lion, will vote on whether to accept the scheme of arrangement at a meeting scheduled for September 15.
The scheme also provided the first details of Kirin's plans for Lion, which it intends to merge with its Australian dairy processing business National Foods.
The merged business, to be known as Lion Nathan National Foods, will be run by Lion chief Rob Murray, assisted by Lion's senior management team.
Kirin said it had "no current intention" to make any major changes to Lion's business or to sell off assets, but flagged some staff redeployment and "limited redundancies" in areas where the two businesses overlap.