Cromwell seeks link to Chinese billionaire Gordon Tang in ARA's $518m takeover bid

4 August 2020, Written by Business News Australia

Cromwell seeks link to Chinese billionaire Gordon Tang in ARA's $518m takeover bid

Cromwell Property Group (ASX: CMW) is taking its defence against a hostile takeover bid to a new level as it seeks documents from Singaporean suitor ARA Asset Manager in a bid to nullify the offer.

Through its latest manouevre Cromwell aims to establish a link between the group and Chinese billionaire Gordon Tang, which ARA has denied exists. 

Backed by renowned corporate raider Gary Weiss, the takeover attempt has been described as "opportunistic" by longstanding Cromwell CEO Paul Weightman (pictured).

Brisbane-based Cromwell has more than 250 properties in its portfolio, including strategic assets housing government departments in Canberra and Qantas' (ASX: QAN) headquarters.

Two entities acting on behalf of Cromwell - Cromwell Corporation Limited and Cromwell Property Securities Limited - yesterday took an application to the Federal Court of Australia seeking preliminary discovery from three ARA-related companies, as well as Tang and individuals and entities associated with him.

"In broad terms, relying on rule 7.23 of the Federal Court Rules 2011, Cromwell seeks orders for preliminary discovery of certain documents created between 1 July 2017 and 22 June 2020," Cromwell said.

"Cromwell reasonably believes that these documents may reveal conduct suggestive of an unlawful 'association' within the meaning and for the purposes of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) between ARA and the Tang Group.

"Cromwell will continue to keep the market informed of further developments in respect of these matters as they arise."

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