Sweetened Clearview bid a winner for Weiss

It’s been a long time between drinks for veteran corporate raider Gary Weiss but the champagne corks no doubt will be popping tonight.

Later today Weiss is expected to be crowned chairman of financial services and wealth management group Clearview after a revised offer from the private equity-led consortium Crescent.

The new offer is expected to deliver 20 per cent more than the initial 50 cents a share offer last July, with an increased cash component and extra dividends that will lift the bid to around 59 cents.

Weiss is understood to have been shopping the deal around for about a year, ever since he parted ways with GPG, the Ron Brierley-led corporate investment firm he ran for two decades.

GPG has been in wind-down mode ever since, with a program to sell all its assets including its stake in Clearview.Weiss’s other interest, property group Ariadne, also has an interest in Clearview.

Crescent is an Australian-based private equity firm run by Michael Alscher and the consortium includes Investec, which is providing debt and equity, along with some Macquarie Group funds.

Last year, Weiss unsuccessfully attempted to put together a similar consortium to take out Perpetual as investor unease over the funds management group saw its share price slide following the departure of long standing stock picker John Sevior.

GPG meanwhile has hit further turbulence. Its biggest investment, thread maker Coats, has suffered from the global economic slowdown  and was hit with a substantial fine that pushed GPG into the red for the six months to June 30.

This morning it reported a net loss of $NZ70 million ($54.3 million), compared with a previous corresponding net profit of $NZ25 million.

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