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Austria's AMS fails to complete 4.5 bln euro takeover of Osram

Credit: REUTERS/LEONHARD FOEGER

Austria's AMS said it had failed to reach a required threshold for completing a takeover of Osram but was still exploring strategic options to pursue the acquisition of the German lighting group.

Adds AMS CEO, Osram statement, background

VIENNA, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Austria's AMS AMS.SAMS.VI said it had failed to reach a required threshold for completing a takeover of Osram OSRn.DE but was still exploring strategic options to pursue the acquisition of the German lighting group.

The sensor specialist managed to collect 51.6% of Osram shares, which includes its own near 20% stake, instead of the required 62.5% level, it said on Friday.

"The strategic logic and the significant advantages of combining AMS and Osram are unchanged," AMS Chief Executive Alexander Everke said, adding he still wanted to create a global leader in sensor solutions and photonics.

"We intend to leverage our position as Osram's largest shareholder in a dialog with Osram as we continue to pursue the

full acquisition of the company."

AMS had fought a fierce takeover battle for the leader in automotive lighting with private equity groups.

It upped its initial bid to 4.5 billion euros ($4.9 billion) last Friday, days before the acceptance period expired, to defy the entry of a new bidding consortium of Bain Capital and Advent.

The Austrian group also bought as many shares as possible via the market, making it now the largest Osram shareholder with a 19.99% stake.

Separately, Osram on Friday said it had invited AMS's management to engage in discussions on a meaningful and mutually beneficial collaboration. At the same time, the German group said that Bain and Advent were currently inspecting its books "with a view to submitting an offer".

Osram said that "irrespective of the outcome of this inspection and irrespective of the talks with AMS," it would give an update on its strategy on Nov. 12 when it will publish its annual results.

($1 = 0.9104 euros)

(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle Editing by Edward Taylor and David Evans)

((kirsti.knolle@thomsonreuters.com; +43 1 53 11 22 55;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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