Laser Group eyes acquisitions after directors join up with shareholder

Time of article published May 13, 2001

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Durban - The Laser Group, the logistics and human resources outsourcing concern, was likely to start making acquisitions before the end of the year as part of its new growth strategy, the company said last week.

The group's plans were boosted when a consortium of executive and non-executive directors combined their 14 percent shareholding in the company with that of major shareholder Commercial Finance Company (CFC), giving them a larger stake.

The agreement means that the consortium and CFC have a 45 percent stake in Laser and can operate in tandem.

CFC, the investment trust, acquired a 32 percent shareholding in March for R15 million as part of a strategy to invest in undervalued companies and give them strategic support.

Bill McAdam, a director at CFC, said Laser had "tremendous potential" to become a meaningful player in the local outsourcing industry, which the market had not yet recognised.

Michael Fuller, the chief executive of Laser, said the agreement, which was subject to the approval of the Competition Commission, meant an offer had to be made to minority shareholders as a requirement of the securities regulation code and rules.

"The shares will be offered at R1,90, which is the highest price at which CFC had bought their shares over the past three months," Fuller said. "We are obliged to make the offer at this price as the joint shareholding now exceeds 34,9 percent. We are very positive about the future and the price, in my view, is certainly not an indication of what the shares are worth."

Laser was untraded at R2,01 on the JSE Securities Exchange on Friday, while CFC closed unchanged at R30.

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