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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.