Pronova takeover hold-out agrees to sweetened BASF offer price

17 January 2013 13:40  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Nykredit Asset Management, one of the investors in Norway-based omega-3 specialist Pronova BioPharma that had opposed BASF’s takeover offer on price grounds, has agreed to tender its shares, a senior executive at the company said on Thursday.

Rolf Solgard, chief portfolio manager at the Denmark-based financial services firm, confirmed that Nykredit has agreed to tender its shares, following BASF’s decision to raise its offer price for Pronova from Norweigan kroner (NKr) 12.50 to NKr13.50 on Wednesday this week.

Solgard told ICIS: “The price has increased about 8%, which isn’t a lot but is still an improvement. What we have to consider is that 70% of the shareholder base has accepted the offer so far, and we don’t know what BASF would do [if the bid were rejected], if they would walk away from the deal.

 “The problem for us is that if we want to stick to our position and be co-investors together with them,  it would maybe be fine in the long-run, but it’s difficult if you’re part of a free float of just 10-20%,“ he added.

A condition of BASF’s takeover bid is that the German chemicals giant needs to secure the approval of holders of over 90% of the company’s share capital by Friday 18 January. The company said on Wednesday that it has currently received acceptance from 70% of shareholders, of which 60% is in the form of irrevocable pre-acceptance commitments.

Majority shareholder Herkules Capital, which controls 50% of the company through several private equity funds, has agreed to the deal, as have investment firms, Kistefos and Kistefos Investment, which indirectly control a 9.1% stake in Pronova.

Nykredit holds over 1% of the company’s share capital. Pronova’s management team and board, which holds 0.3% of the company, have also committed to the deal, according to BASF.

By: Tom Brown
+44 208 652 3214

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