Helsinki, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Finnish engineering company Valmet VALMT.HE has increased its stake in Neles NELES.HE to 17.06% from 15.5%, the Neles shareholder registry showed on Tuesday, strengthening its hand in opposing Alfa Laval's ALFA.ST bid for the valve maker.
Sweden's Alfa Laval last month announced a recommended 1.73 billion euro ($2 billion) cash bid for Neles, seeking to boost its presence in the industrial flow-control market.
Valmet criticised the offer and said it was not in the interest of Neles or its shareholders.
($1 = 0.8645 euros)
(Reporting by Anne Kauranen Editing by David Goodman )
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