Alfa Laval cuts acceptance level requirement in Neles takeover bid
Adds background, detail
STOCKHOLM, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Swedish engineer Alfa Laval AB ALFA.ST on Thursday said it will lower the acceptance level needed in its bid for Finnish valve maker Neles Oyj NELES.HE to over 50% of shares and votes from two-thirds, in a blow to top Neles holder Valmet Oyj VALMT.HE.
Valmet has been opposing Alfa Laval's takeover offer, and has instead proposed a merger with Neles. This week, it said it was worried Alfa Laval could waive its two-thirds condition.
Neles' board said on Monday it continued to recommend Alfa Laval's offer, citing a lack of detail in Valmet's proposal.
"Alfa Laval believes that it has presented a fair offer to all Neles' shareholders, supported by the Neles Board of Directors," Alfa Laval Chief Executive Tom Erixon said in a statement.
"The public tender offer, and the rationale behind it, is based on a clear industrial logic and a belief that the combined company will embark on a growth journey for many years to come."
Valmet has raised its stake in Neles since Alfa Laval made a 11.50 euros-per-share bid in July. It owned 29.5% at September-end.
Alfa Laval said it would extend the acceptance period to Oct. 30 from Oct. 22.
(Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Christopher Cushing)
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.