GDF Suez has finally agreed on a deal to scoop up the 30 per cent of the UK energy provider International Power (IPR) that it doesn't already own – but only after raising its offer by 7 per cent to £6.4bn. In a clear victory for International Power's independent board committee, the French company increased its bid from 390p a share to 418p, two weeks after the board's six directors unanimously rejected its previous offer for being too low.
The new bid – which is entirely in cash and which the board has unanimously agreed to recommend to shareholders – values the whole of International Power at £22.8bn.
Angelos Anastasiou, an analyst at Investec, said: "The independent board committee can certainly hold their heads up high because they have managed to squeeze quite a high price out of GDF.
"It is particularly important for independent directors to do their jobs when there are minority shareholders involved, to make sure they are being dealt with fairly. And, with GDF as 70 per cent owners of the company, this was most definitely a minority situation."
Sir Neville Sims, the chairman of the independent committee, said: "GDF Suez has made an attractive proposal and the independent IPR directors have concluded that it represents a price that fairly reflects the company's position in international power-generation markets and its inherent growth potential. Accordingly, the independent IPR directors will be unanimously recommending that IPR shareholders vote in favour."