Thursday, February 7, 2008

Court of Appeal delays Warehouse bid

Contrary to a comment made earlier last week when High Court Judge Jill Mallon had said an appeal could be made by the Commerce Commission to overrule her decision in November 2007, that Foodstuffs and Woolworths Australia [WOW.ASX] could make a bid for The Warehouse Group [WHS.NZ] and it should be under the condition that the case was heard urgently, the Court of Appeal has ruled that it would hear an appeal on April 29.

The latter court date will be after a court imposed ban on bidding for the Warehouse ends on February 29.

It is difficult to see a bid be made by either Foodstuffs or Woolworths after the bid deadline but it has been an unusual tussle so far and stranger things have happened in other takeover processes.

It would be presumptuous for any of the two possible bidders to show their hand early though and clearly wouldn't look good for their defence in the Court of Appeal case because the last thing the defence needs is a pissed off learned judge because his authority has been undermined in his court.

What is clear though, is that we are unlikely to get a result either way anytime soon.

If either side doesn't get their desired result in April they are likely to have another go at a case packed Supreme Court in Wellington.

Disclosure: I own WHS shares

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