Smil­ing all the way to the bank

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS -

SOME bankers in Oslo might well have been wear­ing sat­is­fied Scan­di­na­vian smiles when they heard on Mon­day that French gi­ant Ac­cor was propos­ing a ma­jor takeover thou­sands of kilo­me­tres away in Aus­tralia.

Norges Bank, which man­ages Nor­way’s $1 tril­lion sov­er­eign wealth fund, is a ma­jor stake­holder in Mantra, the Surfers Par­adise hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion op­er­a­tor.

Ac­cor, which al­ready has a Gold Coast pres­ence, has sig­nalled that it hopes to make a $3.96 a share bid for Bob Eas­trun Mantra.

That’s lovely for Norges, which just hap­pens to be sit­ting on nearly 15 mil­lion Mantra shares, or just over 5 per cent of the share cap­i­tal.

The Nor­we­gians first re­vealed their Mantra buy­ing back in Fe­bru­ary when they re­vealed they’d be­come sub­stan­tial share­hold­ers.

They’ve floated over and un­der the 5 per cent mark dur­ing the year and their in­vest­ment’s been ‘out in the cold’ for a lot of the time – the shares haven’t been worth what they paid.

If Ac­cor’s of­fer goes ahead, things will be gor­geous for Norges – its Mantra buy­ing ap­pears to have been around the $3 mark, or nearly a dol­lar ashare below the po­ten­tial bid.

Oh, and a week ago Norges banked a 6c a share Mantra fi­nal div­i­dend.

Mantra boss Bob East.

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