Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Lessing, John P.G. and Johns, Renaee (2006) Resisting a hostile takeover: the Lion Nathan bid for Coopers Brewerypresented at the 61st Annual Australasian Law Teachers Association (ALTA) Conference, Legal Knowledge: Learning, Communicating and Doing, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, 4-7 July 2006.

Permission to reprint this presentation has been received from the Australasian Law Teachers Association (ALTA) a professional body which represents the interests of law teachers in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.
An on-line copy of this presentation can be viewed at the 2006 (ALTA) Conference site

2006 HERDC submission


Lion Nathan Ltd (Lion Nathan), Australia’s second largest brewer, through its subsidiary Lion Nathan Australia Pty Ltd (LNA), on 1 September 2005 launched a hostile takeover of Coopers Brewery Limited (hereafter ‘Coopers’). What followed was one of the most fascinating and vigorously contested takeover battles in Australian corporate history. As a case study, it raises a range of corporate law issues including directors’ duties, oppression, share buy-backs, experts’ reports, use of preemption clauses and the interpretation of a company’s constitution. This paper provides an overview of the tactics adopted by both sides during this lengthy battle. It also discusses the corporate law issues raised by the facts and peculiar circumstances.

This document has been peer reviewed.