Approval of Severn Trent's acquisition of Dee Valley Water has been postponed due to confusion over the implications of a share transfer which took place in the days prior to a shareholder vote.

The proposed £84 million takeover of Dee Valley Water by Severn Trent now looks set to be decided at a court hearing later this month after doubt was cast over the validity of a vote to apporve the deal.

According to local media reports, confusion has arisen because, in the days leading up to the vote, an unidentified buyer purchased 445 Dee Valley shares and then redistributed them to a number of individuals. 

At an extraordinary general meeting, held yesterday (12 January) the votes cast by the holders of these redistributed shares were not counted by the chairman.

If the votes had been counted, they would have skewed the outcome, blocking the takeover deal by a margin of 103 votes. Without the excluded votes the deal was approved, with just 32 votes being cast against it.

A court hearing has now been scheduled to decide whether the votes should have been acknowledged by the chairman of the EGM.

Severn Trent’s bid for Dee Valley Water was made on November 23. An earlier offer by the company had valued Dee Valley Water at £78.5 million but this was topped by infrastructure investment manager Ancala, which made a rival offer 1 pence per share higher after close on November 22.

This article first appeared on wwtonline

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