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Volante on back foot as Commander attacks

Volante on back foot as Commander attacks

Volante and its hostile takeover suitor, Commander, have again clashed, this time over the details of a Target Statement issued to Volante shareholders.

Last week, Volante issued a statement asserting that the company was worth $0.26-$0.34 more than the initial $1.01 per share offer lodged by Commander in December. The statement was based on the findings of an independent expert hired by Volante, and referred to future contracts with the South Australian DCSS and undisclosed contract wins.

Commander CEO, Adrian Coote was quick to go on the attack. He said the statement contained "a set of highly qualified blue sky forecasts", and that Volante had maintained a poor record in meeting revenue and earnings forecasts since listing on the ASX.

"The fact that the Volante board is relying on unsecured and potential income to underpin their future earnings and valuation speaks volumes for how they treat their shareholders and the market," he said in an ASX statement.

Coote also pointed out that the Volante statement didn't make an appropriate disclosure of the size or scope of the future customer tenders.

The Volante board was quick to strike back, asserting that no one in the large managed services market would disclose complete details of such a deal.

"To suggest otherwise demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the business. The Board and management of Volante will not do anything to jeopardise client confidentiality or the successful conclusion of negotiations in relation to this important contract," the company said in a statement.

Volante MD and CEO, Ian Penman, said that the real value of Volante would be driven by contracts which won't begin to deliver revenue and earnings until the end of FY 2006 and "mostly in FY 2007".

"The $1.01 offer is wholly inadequate and opportunistic," he said. "We continue to strongly recommend that shareholders reject Commander's offer."

Commander's offer ends on February 10.


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