Thursday was a good day for Bell Equipment after it reported results that showed a recovery from a bruising loss, but this was cold comfort for shareholders awaiting details on a contentious possible acquisition of the group.
Over the past 67 years, the South African company has grown into one of the biggest suppliers of materials equipment, like its articulated dump truck and haulage tractor used in agriculture, mining, construction and forestry. In addition, it has grown its footprint beyond Africa into the US and Germany, also offering after-market services and distribution.
However, Bell has found itself on the wrong side of some of its shareholders regarding a proposed acquisition by the Bell family, its biggest shareholder, for R10 a share. At the heart of their contention is that the R10 offer is too low and the family, who founded the company and listed it 26 years ago, would be getting it for a steal.