Mullen intends to offer Pe Ben shareholders $12.00 in cash for each share, which represents a premium of approximately 28 percent based on the volume weighted average trading price of the Pe Ben shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange for the 20 trading days ended November 2, 2005, the last trading day prior to the date of this announcement. This also represents a premium of approximately 14 percent over the closing price of the Pe Ben shares on November 2, 2005. Mullen estimates that Pe Ben has approximately 3.25 million shares outstanding.
"The trust conversion process we undertook during the first half of 2005 caused us to closely examine all of our operating and non-operating assets, including our approximate 10 percent share position in Pe Ben. With the trust conversion now behind us we believe the time is right to add Pe Ben to the Mullen Group," said Stephen H. Lockwood, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Lockwood also stated, "We have not yet been able to coordinate a meeting with the Board of Pe Ben to discuss this initiative but we are optimistic that a meaningful dialogue with them will commence shortly."
The volume of Pe Ben shares traded is very low and therefore this offer will provide the Pe Ben shareholders with a number of benefits, including receipt of a substantial premium to recent prices and the ability to monetize their investment.
Full details of the offer will be included in a takeover bid circular that is expected to be mailed to Pe Ben shareholders next week. Completion of the offer will be subject to, among other things, the valid deposit under the offer, and non withdrawal, of at least 50 percent of the Pe Ben shares (including the Pe Ben shares owned by Mullen or its subsidiaries) on a fully diluted basis. Other conditions will include those typical for a transaction of this nature and receipt of regulatory, stock exchange and third party approvals satisfactory to Mullen.
Mullen has engaged Raymond James Ltd. to assist it with the offer.
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