SYDNEY, March 28 Australian sandalwood
plantation group Quintis Ltd said on Tuesday its
managing director has resigned and will consider making a
takeover offer for the company together with an unnamed
The move follows the publication last week of a highly
negative report by short-seller Glaucus Research Group that
knocked shares in Quintis down 24 percent, taking its market
capitalistion to A$430 million ($328 million).
Quintis, formerly known as TFS Corp., is one of the last
remaining publicly-listed managed investment schemes in
Australia and has Indian and Australian sandalwood plantations.
Oil from the trees is sold to India and China for fragrances,
cosmetics and medicinal uses.
Shares in the company jumped 10 percent in early trade on
Tuesday on news of a potential bid. Managing director Frank
Wilson owns about 13 percent of the company and topped up his
shareholding with a A$59,000 investment last week when the
company came under attack from Glaucus.
The collapses of Timbercorp Ltd and several other large
forestry investment schemes, starting in 2009, drew widespread
criticism of an investment model which frequently involved small
investors borrowing money for high-risk operations.
In response to a query from the Australian Securities
Exchange, Quintis said on Monday its biggest customer in China,
Shanghai Richer Link, had not ordered any shipments this year.
Chairman Dalton Gooding said in a statement on Tuesday that
the fundamentals of the business remained strong, but the
company was dealing with "a number of issues" that had affected
its share price.
Any offer for Quintis would be independently assessed on
whether it was in the best interests of all shareholders, he
Wilson said he had received several approaches over the
years from parties interested in bidding for Quintis, although
none had progressed to a formal proposal.
"More recently, I have been contacted by a well-funded party
with what I believe to be a serious approach," he said in a
statement. "It is my intention to fully assess this confidential
approach and any others, unencumbered by my duties and
responsibilities as managing director."
($1 = 1.3123 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Richard Pullin)