June 22, 2020 / 9:56 AM / 14 days ago

Key investor pushes for Campari's Netherlands move after buying withdrawn shares

FILE PHOTO: Campari bottles are seen in a bar downtown Milan, Italy, September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

MILAN (Reuters) - Campari’s (CPRI.MI) controlling shareholder believes the spirits group’s planned move of its registered office to the Netherlands will succeed, saying it was supporting the move by buying shares from investors who had exercised withdrawal rights.

The Aperol maker announced in February that it planned to move its registered office to Amsterdam and introduce an enhanced loyalty share scheme, a move aimed at increasing M&A opportunities.

Shareholders who opposed the change of domicile plan could exercise withdrawal rights.

In March, after Campari’s shares fell well below the withdrawal price of 8.376 euros per share, Campari’s board said a tolerable cost to liquidate those shares would be around 7-8 million euros.

Lagfin, Campari’s key shareholder, said late on Sunday it had bought 30 million withdrawn shares, thus reducing Campari’s liquidation costs to below the level deemed tolerable by its board.

The investor added it would purchase an additional 1.7 million shares at the price of 8 euros per share and estimated the cost to Campari would now be around 5.3 million euros.

“Lagfin expects that the redomiciliation of Campari to the Netherlands can therefore be completed,” the holding company of the Garavoglia family said.

Camapri shareholders approved the redomiciliation plan at a meeting in March, subject to several conditions. They are due to vote again on the move on June 26.

Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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