Allied back to square one as reverse takeover collapses

The proposed reverse takeover of ASX-listed services company, Allied Technologies Australia, by ARA Group has been shelved.

In an ASX statement, Allied said discussions with the building services business had been formally terminated by mutual agreement.

ARA, which had previously talked up the benefits of a takeover in a page-long open letter to customers and suppliers on its website, simply republished the Allied ASX statement.

A phone call to ARA co-founder, Ed Federman, who was to become the managing director of the combined $100 million group, was no more enlightening.

"I have just got to stand by what Allied put in its statement," he said.

The reverse takeover of Allied would have seen Federman's dream of an ASX listing for ARA realised.

Allied's statement said its Board had refocused on maximising the value of the Group's assets and was also considering alternatives to the ARA deal that would achieve a favourable outcome for shareholders.

Allied chairman and managing director, Michael Addison, said the decision not to proceed was a mutual decision.

"We took a high-level look at each other subsequent to the original announcement and decided we would rather not proceed," Addison said. "It wasn't a one-sided thing, it was mutual. I am bound by an NDA [non-disclosure agreement] and cannot say any more."

Allied followed the news of the takeover collapse with a separate announcement to the ASX that it will seek to buy back up to 5.3 million of its own shares during the next 12 months. Currently, its shares are trading at $0.18.

"There is very little liquidity in the market at the moment and we want to offer a way out for anyone looking to leave," Addison said.

Aequs Securities will be the broker acting on behalf of Allied in the buyback.