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BWX Ltd (ASX:BWX) gives takeover update, puts CEO on leave

BWX Ltd (ASX: BWX) has given an update to shareholders about how the potential takeover is progressing. The company is now going to make a strategic review of the options.

BWX’s Chairman Denis Shelley said “The Independent Board Committee (IBC) is taking steps to ensure the best interests of all shareholders are served by a thorough evaluation of all of the Company’s options. The Board is committed to ensuring appropriate management arrangements and governance standards are maintained throughout the process.”

The company said that the advisers to the IBC, which includes Minter Ellison, Bell Potter and Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG), will help with the review.

The review will look at whether it’s better for BWX shareholders if the company remains as a standalone listed entity or go ahead with the takeover transaction.

In the meantime, the IBC will take more responsibility for the running of the company.

The BWX Chairman, Denis Shelley, will take increased responsibility for the oversight of management and operation of the business. Non-Executive Director Ian Campbell will oversee the management of stakeholder relations.

CEO Mr Humble and Finance Director Mr Finlay will take a leave of absence from the company while the review is ongoing.

Myles Anceschi, currently the Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed as the interim CEO. He has been with BWX since January 2017.

Vinod Somani, the current Chief Financial Officer, will continue in the role and report to Mr Anceschi.

‘Strict protocols’ have been put in place preventing Mr Humble and Mr Finlay from having any access to BWX confidential information, staff, customers, shareholders and media without the prior agreement of the IBC.

Foolish takeaway

This decision to undertake a review seems a little slow considering the bid was made three weeks ago. However, I think blocking Mr Humble and Mr Finlay from having access is the fair thing to do. Although they haven’t been permanently forced out, this was one of the reasons why I sold my shares – if the bid doesn’t work it could be quite easy to think that they might not get their jobs back due to differences of opinion with other major shareholders about future growth plans.

If I were still a BWX shareholder I would consider selling my shares. However, if the bid were to fall through and the share price fell back to mid $4.50s I would personally consider buying back in.

At the current price I wouldn’t invest in BWX shares, instead I’d put my money into one or more of these hot stocks.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended BWX Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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