Manulife Financial Corporation announced August 16 that the firm’s shares are the subject of another unsolicited mini-tender offer being made by Obatan LLC, cautioning shareholders while pointing out that the mini-tender offer has been made at a price notably lower than the current market price for Manulife shares.

Quoting the Securities and Exchange Commission, Manulife adds that bidders make mini-tender offers at below-market prices, hoping that they will catch investors off guard and fail to compare the offer price to current market prices.

“Mini-tender offers are designed to seek less than five per cent of a company’s outstanding shares, avoiding disclosure and procedural requirements applicable to most bids under Canadian and U.S. securities regulations. The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have expressed serious concerns about mini-tender offers, including the possibility that investors might tender to such offers without understanding the offer price relative to the actual market price of their securities,” Manulife states in the announcement.

The offer is not the first for Manulife – the firm issued similar statements in March, May and June 2021 in response to similar offers. In the past year both Great-West Lifeco and Sun Life have also issued statements about Obatan. 

In this case, Manulife points out that the current offer of USD$12 per share represents a discount of 37.3 per cent and 37.37 per cent for common shares traded on the TSX and NYSE, respectively, as of August 3, the last trading day before the mini-tender offer was commenced. As of August 13, the offer is being made at a discount of 41.02 per cent and 41.03 per cent.

Shareholders who have already tendered their shares can withdraw their shares any time before 5p.m. Eastern Time, on October 6, 2021, by following the procedures described in the offer documents.