Smiling all the way to the bank
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.