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Australia’s MYOB recommends KKR’s lower buyout offer



FILE PHOTO: Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) – MYOB Group Ltd (MYO.AX) said on Monday it would recommend U.S. private equity giant KKR & Co’s (KKR.N) buyout offer for the Australian accounting software maker.

Last week, KKR cut its A$1.8 billion buyout proposal for the struggling Australian company. This came seven weeks after KKR upped its indicative bid to access MYOB’s financial records.

MYOB’s acceptance comes after it initially said on Thursday it would reject the new suggested price of A$3.40 per share, which was slashed from A$3.77.

Shares of the Melbourne-based company tumbled 14 percent following KKR’s lowered offer price and last traded at A$2.870 on Friday, representing a 18.5 percent discount to the new price.

KKR cut its offer price at a time when global technology players such as Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Google owner Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) have fallen sharply amid concerns about incursions on privacy, sparking a sell-off across the broader sector.

MYOB Chairman Justin Milne said the proposal was in the best interest of shareholders, considering “market uncertainty and the longer-term nature of the strategic growth plan the Company has embarked upon.”

He added that “the unique provisions of the agreement with KKR provide a level of certainty for our shareholders.”

In its statement, MYOB also said it expects revenue growth in the 2018 financial year of about 7 percent, while it sees its EBITDA margin between 42 percent and 43 percent.

Under a scheme of arrangement, MYOB has agreed to “go shop” provisions with KKR, which allows MYOB to seek alternate superior proposals until Feb. 22, 2019.

Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Jane Merriman and Dan Grebler