NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN, INTO OR FROM ANY JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OR REGULATIONS OF SUCH JURISDICTION
THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
17 JANUARY 2023
APPRECIATE GROUP PLC ("APPRECIATE GROUP")
PAYPOINT PLC ("PAYPOINT")
to be implemented by means of a Court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement
under Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006
On 7 November 2022, the boards of directors of PayPoint and Appreciate Group announced that they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended offer pursuant to which PayPoint will acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Appreciate Group (the "Acquisition"). It is intended that the Acquisition will be effected by means of a Court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement between Appreciate Group and relevant Appreciate Group Shareholders under Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006 (the "Scheme"). A circular in relation to the Acquisition was published by Appreciate Group on 2 December 2022 (the “Scheme Document”).
Satisfaction of FCA change in control condition
The board of PayPoint is pleased to announce that the FCA has given its approval to the Acquisition and, as such, the relevant condition has now been satisfied.
The Scheme remains conditional on the approval of Scheme Shareholders at the Court Meeting and Appreciate Group Shareholders at the General Meeting, such meetings to be held on 20 January 2023, and to the satisfaction or waiver of the other Conditions set out in the Scheme Document, including the sanction of the Court on a date to be advised.
Appreciate Group Shareholders will be provided with adequate notice of the date and time of the Court Hearing, once known, via an announcement through a Regulatory Information Service which will be made available on Appreciate Group's website at www.appreciategroup.co.uk/investors and on PayPoint's website at https://corporate.paypoint.com/appreciategroupoffer.
Capitalised terms used in this announcement shall, unless otherwise defined, have the same meanings as set out in the Scheme Document.
Nick Wiles, Chief Executive Tel: 07442 968960
Alan Dale, Finance Director Tel: 07778 043962
Steve O’Neill, Corporate Affairs and Marketing Director Tel: 07919 488066
Jefferies International Limited (Financial adviser and corporate broker to PayPoint)
Simon Hardy Tel: 020 7029 8000
FGS Global (Public relations adviser to PayPoint)
Rollo Head Tel: 0207 251 3801
Guy Parsons, Executive Chairman Tel: 020 3128 8193
Julian Coghlan, Interim Chief Executive Officer
Liberum Capital Limited (Lead financial adviser, nominated adviser and corporate broker to Appreciate Group)
Richard Crawley Tel: 020 3100 2000
Herax Partners LLP (Joint financial adviser and Rule 3 adviser to Appreciate Group)
Angus MacPherson Tel: 020 7399 1682
MHP Communications (Public relations adviser to Appreciate Group)
Reg Hoare Tel: 020 3128 8193
Katie Hunt [email protected]
Jefferies International Limited (“Jefferies”), which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the FCA, is acting exclusively as financial adviser and corporate broker to PayPoint and no one else in connection with the Acquisition or any matters referred to in this Announcement. In connection with such matters, Jefferies, its affiliates and its or their respective directors, officers, employees and agents will not regard any other person as their client, nor will they be responsible to anyone other than PayPoint for providing the protections afforded to their clients or for providing advice in relation to the Acquisition, the contents of this Announcement or any other matter referred to in this Announcement or owe or accept any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person other than PayPoint in connection with the matters referred to in this Announcement, or otherwise.
Liberum Capital Limited ("Liberum"), which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the FCA, is acting exclusively as lead financial adviser, nominated adviser and corporate broker to Appreciate Group and for no one else in connection with the Acquisition or any matters referred to in this Announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Appreciate Group for providing the protections afforded to its clients nor for providing advice in relation to the Acquisition, the contents of this Announcement or any other matters referred to in this Announcement. Neither Liberum nor any of its affiliates, respective directors, officers, employees and agents owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person other than Appreciate Group in connection with the matters referred to in this Announcement, or otherwise.
Herax Partners LLP (“Herax Partners”), which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the FCA, is acting exclusively as joint financial adviser and Rule 3 Adviser to Appreciate Group and for no one else in connection with the Acquisition or any matters referred to in this Announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Appreciate Group for providing the protections afforded to its clients nor for providing advice in relation to the Acquisition, the contents of this Announcement or any other matters referred to in this Announcement. Neither Herax Partners nor any of its affiliates, respective directors, officers, employees and agents owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person other than Appreciate Group in connection with the matters referred to in this Announcement, or otherwise.
This Announcement is for information purposes only and is not intended to and does not constitute, or form part of, an offer to sell or an invitation to purchase any securities or a solicitation of an offer to buy, otherwise acquire, subscribe for, sell or otherwise dispose of any securities pursuant to the Acquisition or otherwise, nor shall there be any purchase, sale, issuance or exchange of securities or such solicitation in any jurisdiction in which such offer, invitation, solicitation, purchase, sale, issuance or exchange is unlawful. The Acquisition will be made solely by means of the Scheme Document (or, if applicable, the offer document containing any Takeover Offer) and the accompanying Forms of Proxy, which will contain the full terms and conditions of the Acquisition, including details of how to vote in respect of the resolution proposed in connection with the Acquisition. Any approval, decision in respect of, or other response to, the Acquisition should be made only on the basis of the information contained in the Scheme Document (or, if applicable, the offer document containing any Takeover Offer).
This Announcement does not constitute a prospectus or prospectus equivalent document. The New PayPoint Shares to be issued pursuant to the Acquisition are not being offered to the public by means of this Announcement.
This Announcement has been prepared in connection with proposals in relation to a scheme of arrangement pursuant to and for the purpose of complying with English law, the Takeover Code, the AIM Rules, the Market Abuse Regulation and the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules and information disclosed may not be the same as that which would have been disclosed if this Announcement had been prepared in accordance with the laws of jurisdictions outside the United Kingdom. Nothing in this Announcement should be relied on for any other purpose.
The statements contained in this Announcement are made as at the date of this Announcement, unless some other time is specified in relation to them, and the release of this Announcement shall not give rise to any implication that there has been no change in the facts set out in this Announcement since such date.
The release, publication or distribution of this Announcement in jurisdictions other than the United Kingdom may be restricted by the laws and/or regulations of those jurisdictions and therefore persons into whose possession this Announcement comes who are subject to the laws and/or regulations of any jurisdiction other than the United Kingdom should inform themselves about and observe any such applicable restrictions in their jurisdiction. In particular, the ability of persons who are not resident in the United Kingdom to vote their Appreciate Group Shares with respect to the Scheme at the Court Meeting, or to appoint another person as proxy to vote at the Court Meeting on their behalf, may be affected by the laws of the relevant jurisdiction in which they are located. Further details in relation to the Overseas Shareholders is contained in the Scheme Document. Any failure to comply with any such restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, the companies and persons involved in the Acquisition disclaim any responsibility or liability for the violation of such restrictions by any person.
Unless otherwise determined by PayPoint or required by the Takeover Code, and permitted by applicable law and regulation, the New PayPoint Shares to be issued pursuant to the Acquisition to Appreciate Group Shareholders will not be made available, directly or indirectly, in, into or from a Restricted Jurisdiction where to do so would violate the laws in that jurisdiction and no person may vote in favour of the Scheme by any such means from within a Restricted Jurisdiction or any other jurisdiction if to do so would constitute a violation of the laws of that jurisdiction. Accordingly, copies of this Announcement and all documents relating to the Acquisition are not being, and must not be, directly or indirectly, mailed or otherwise forwarded, distributed or sent in, into or from a Restricted Jurisdiction where to do so would violate the laws in that jurisdiction, and persons receiving this Announcement and all documents relating to the Acquisition (including custodians, nominees and trustees) must not mail or otherwise distribute or send them in, into or from such jurisdictions where to do so would violate the laws in that jurisdiction. If the Acquisition is implemented by Takeover Offer (unless otherwise permitted by applicable law or regulation), the Takeover Offer may not be made, directly or indirectly, in or into or by use of the mails or any other means or instrumentality (including, without limitation, facsimile, email or other electronic transmission, telex or telephone of interstate or foreign commerce of, or any facility of a national state or other securities exchange of any Restricted Jurisdiction) and the Takeover Offer will not be capable of acceptance by any such use, means instrumentality or facilities or from or within any Restricted Jurisdiction.
The availability of the New PayPoint Shares to Appreciate Group Shareholders who are not resident in the United Kingdom may be affected by the laws of the relevant jurisdictions in which they are resident. Persons who are not resident in the United Kingdom should inform themselves of, and observe, any applicable requirements.
Further details in relation to Overseas Shareholders is contained in the Scheme Document.
Additional information for US investors
Appreciate Group Shareholders in the United States should note that the Acquisition relates to the securities of a company incorporated in England and is proposed to be effected by means of a scheme of arrangement under the laws of England and Wales. This Announcement, the Scheme Document and certain other documents relating to the Acquisition have been or will be prepared in accordance with English law, the Takeover Code and UK disclosure requirements, format and style, all of which differ from those in the United States. A transaction effected by means of a scheme of arrangement is not subject to the tender offer rules or the proxy solicitation rules under the US Exchange Act. Accordingly, the Acquisition is subject to the disclosure requirements of and practices applicable in the United Kingdom to schemes of arrangement, which differ from the disclosure requirements of the United States tender offer and proxy solicitation rules. If, in the future, PayPoint exercises the right to implement the Acquisition by way of a Takeover Offer in accordance with the terms of the Co-operation Agreement and determines to extend the offer into the United States, the Acquisition will be made in compliance with applicable United States laws and regulations, including any applicable exemptions under the US Exchange Act.
Appreciate Group's financial statements, and all financial information that is included in this Announcement or the Scheme Document, or any other documents relating to the Acquisition, have been or will be prepared in accordance with IFRS and may not be comparable to financial statements of companies in the United States or other companies whose financial statements are prepared in accordance with US generally accepted accounting principles.
The receipt of cash and shares pursuant to the Acquisition by a US holder as consideration for the transfer of its Appreciate Group Shares pursuant to the Scheme will likely be a taxable transaction for United States federal income tax purposes and under applicable United States state and local, as well as foreign and other, tax laws. Each Appreciate Group Shareholder is urged to consult his independent professional adviser immediately regarding the tax consequences of the Acquisition applicable to him.
It may be difficult for US holders to enforce their rights and claims arising out of US federal securities laws, since PayPoint and Appreciate Group are located in countries other than the US, and some or all of their officers and directors may be residents of countries other than the US. US holders may not be able to sue a non-US company or its officers or directors in a non-US court for violations of US securities laws. Further, it may be difficult to compel a non-US company and its affiliates to subject themselves to a US court's judgement.
Neither the Securities Exchange Commission nor any securities commission of any state of the United States has approved the transaction, passed upon the fairness of the transaction or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this Announcement. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offence in the United States.
If PayPoint were to elect to implement the Acquisition by means of a Takeover Offer, in accordance with normal practice in the UK and consistent with Rule 14e-5(b) of the US Exchange Act, PayPoint, certain affiliated companies and their nominees or brokers (acting as agents) may make certain purchases of, or arrangements to purchase, shares in Appreciate Group outside the US, other than pursuant to the Acquisition, until the date on which the Acquisition and/or Scheme becomes Effective, lapses or is otherwise withdrawn. If such purchases or arrangements to purchase were to be made they would occur either in the open market at prevailing prices or in private transactions at negotiated prices and comply with applicable law, including the US Exchange Act. Any information about such purchases or arrangements to purchase will be disclosed as required in the United Kingdom, will be reported to a Regulatory Information Service and will be available on the London Stock Exchange website at www.londonstockexchange.com.
Notes regarding New PayPoint Shares
The New PayPoint Shares to be issued pursuant to the Scheme have not been and will not be registered under the relevant securities laws of Japan and the relevant clearances have not been, and will not be, obtained from the securities commission of any province of Canada. No prospectus in relation to the New PayPoint Shares has been, or will be, lodged with, or registered by, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Accordingly, the New PayPoint Shares are not being, and may not be, offered, sold, resold, delivered or distributed, directly or indirectly in or into a Restricted Jurisdiction or any other jurisdiction if to do so would constitute a violation of relevant laws of, or require registration thereof in, such jurisdiction (except pursuant to an exemption, if available, from any applicable registration requirements or otherwise in compliance with all applicable laws).
The New PayPoint Shares have not been and will not be registered under the US Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "US Securities Act"), or under the securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States, and may not be offered or sold except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the US Securities Act and in compliance with any applicable securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States. It is expected that the New PayPoint Shares will be issued in reliance upon the exemption from the registration requirements of the US Securities Act of 1933 (as amended) provided by Section 3(a)(10) thereof.
This Announcement (including information incorporated by reference in this Announcement), oral statements made regarding the Acquisition, and other information published by PayPoint or Appreciate Group contain statements about PayPoint and/or Appreciate Group that are or may be deemed to be “forward-looking statements”. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this Announcement may be forward-looking statements. Without limitation, any statements preceded or followed by or that include the words "targets", "plans", "believes", "expects", "aims", "intends", "will", "may", "anticipates", "estimates", "hopes" "projects", "continue", "schedule" or words or terms of similar substance or the negative thereof, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements relating to the following: (i) future capital expenditures, expenses, revenues, earnings, synergies, economic performance, indebtedness, financial condition, dividend policy, losses and future prospects; (ii) business and management strategies and the expansion and growth of PayPoint's or Appreciate Group's operations and potential synergies resulting from the Acquisition; and (iii) the effects of government regulation on PayPoint's or Appreciate Group's business.
These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. By their nature, such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect expected results and are based on certain key assumptions. Many factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or implied in any forward-looking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond the entities' ability to control or estimate precisely. These factors include, but are not limited to, the satisfaction of the conditions to the Acquisition, as well as additional factors, such as changes in political and economic conditions, changes in the level of capital investment, retention of key employees, changes in customer habits, success of business and operating initiatives and restructuring objectives, impact of any acquisitions or similar transactions, changes in customers' strategies and stability, competitive product and pricing measures, changes in the regulatory environment, fluctuations of interest and exchange rates, the outcome of any litigation. For a discussion of important factors which could cause actual results to differ from forward-looking statements: (i) in relation to the Wider Appreciate Group, refer to the annual report for Appreciate Group for the financial year ended 31 March 2022; and (ii) in relation to the PayPoint Group, refer to the annual report for PayPoint for the financial year ended 31 March 2022. Neither PayPoint or Appreciate Group, nor any of their respective associates or directors, officers or advisers, provides any representation, assurance or guarantee that the occurrence of the events expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements in this Announcement will actually occur. Due to such uncertainties and risks, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this Announcement. All subsequent oral or written forward-looking statements attributable to PayPoint or Appreciate Group or any of their respective members, directors, officers or employees or any persons acting on their behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statement above. PayPoint and Appreciate Group disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking or other statements contained in this Announcement, except as required by applicable law.
No profit forecasts or estimates
No statement in this Announcement is intended as a profit forecast or estimate for any period and no statement in this Announcement should be interpreted to mean that earnings or earnings per share for Appreciate Group or PayPoint for the current or future financial years would necessarily match or exceed the historical published earnings or earnings per share for Appreciate Group or PayPoint respectively.
Disclosure requirements of the Takeover Code
Under Rule 8.3(a) of the Takeover Code, any person who is interested in 1% or more of any class of relevant securities of an offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror (being any offeror other than an offeror in respect of which it has been announced that its offer is, or is likely to be, solely in cash) must make an Opening Position Disclosure following the commencement of the offer period and, if later, following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified. An Opening Position Disclosure must contain details of the person's interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror(s). An Opening Position Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(a) of the Takeover Code applies must be made by no later than 3.30 p.m. (London time) on the 10th Business Day following the commencement of the offer period and, if appropriate, by no later than 3.30 p.m. (London time) on the 10th Business Day following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified. Relevant persons who deal in the relevant securities of the offeree company or of a securities exchange offeror prior to the deadline for making an Opening Position Disclosure must instead make a Dealing Disclosure.
Under Rule 8.3(b) of the Takeover Code, any person who is, or becomes, interested in 1% or more of any class of relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror must make a Dealing Disclosure if the person deals in any relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror. A Dealing Disclosure must contain details of the dealing concerned and of the person's interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror(s), save to the extent that these details have previously been disclosed under Rule 8 of the Takeover Code. A Dealing Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(b) of the Takeover Code applies must be made by no later than 3.30 p.m. (London time) on the Business Day following the date of the relevant dealing.
If two or more persons act together pursuant to an agreement or understanding, whether formal or informal, to acquire or control an interest in relevant securities of an offeree company or a securities exchange offeror, they will be deemed to be a single person for the purpose of Rule 8.3 of the Takeover Code.
Opening Position Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company and by any offeror and Dealing Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company, by any offeror and by any persons acting in concert with any of them (see Rules 8.1, 8.2 and 8.4 of the Takeover Code).
Details of the offeree and offeror companies in respect of whose relevant securities Opening Position Disclosures and Dealing Disclosures must be made can be found in the Disclosure Table on the Panel's website at www.thetakeoverpanel.org.uk, including details of the number of relevant securities in issue, when the offer period commenced and when any offeror was first identified. You should contact the Panel's Market Surveillance Unit on +44 (0)20 7638 0129 if you are in any doubt as to whether you are required to make an Opening Position Disclosure or a Dealing Disclosure.
Right to switch to a Takeover Offer
PayPoint reserves the right to elect, subject to the terms of the Co-operation Agreement and with the consent of the Panel, to implement the Acquisition by way of a Takeover Offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Appreciate Group as an alternative to the Scheme. In such an event, the Takeover Offer will be implemented on the same terms or, if PayPoint so decides, on such other terms being no less favourable (subject to appropriate amendments), so far as applicable, as those which would apply to the Scheme and subject to the amendment referred to in the conditions to the Acquisition set out in Part 3 of the Scheme Document.
Publication of this Announcement on website
A copy of this Announcement and the documents required to be published pursuant to Rules 26.1 and 26.2 of the Takeover Code will be available, free of charge, subject to certain restrictions relating to persons resident in Restricted Jurisdictions, on Appreciate Group's website at www.appreciategroup.co.uk/investors and on PayPoint's website at https://corporate.paypoint.com/appreciategroupoffer by no later than 12:00 p.m. on the Business Day following this Announcement.
For the avoidance of doubt, the contents of this website and any websites accessible from hyperlinks on this website are not incorporated into and do not form part of this Announcement.
Information relating to Appreciate Group Shareholders
Please be aware that addresses, electronic addresses and certain information provided by Appreciate Group Shareholders, persons with information rights and other relevant persons for the receipt of communications from Appreciate Group may be provided to PayPoint during the Offer Period as required under Section 4 of Appendix 4 of the Takeover Code to comply with Rule 2.11(c) of the Takeover Code.
Right to receive documents in hard copy form
Any person entitled to receive a copy of documents, announcements and information relating to the Acquisition is entitled to receive such documents in hard copy form free of charge. A person may also request that all future documents, announcements and information in relation to the Acquisition are sent to them in hard copy form. Hard copies of such documents, announcements (including this Announcement), and information will not be sent unless requested.
In accordance with Rule 30.3 of the Takeover Code, Appreciate Group Shareholders, persons with information rights and participants in Appreciate Group Share Plans may request a hard copy of this Announcement by contacting Appreciate Group's registrars, Computershare Investor Services PLC (“Computershare”) during business hours on +44 (0)370 707 1226 or in writing at The Pavilions, Bridgwater Road, Bristol BS99 6ZY. Calls are charged at the standard geographical rate and will vary by provider. Calls outside the United Kingdom will be charged at the applicable international rate. Lines are open between 9.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (London time), Monday to Friday (except public holidays in England and Wales). Please note that Computershare cannot provide any financial, legal or tax advice. Calls may be recorded and monitored for security and training purposes. For persons who receive a copy of this Announcement in electronic form or via a website notification, a hard copy of this Announcement will not be sent unless so requested. Such persons may also request that all future documents, announcements and information to be sent to them in relation to the Acquisition should be in hard copy form.