BBA buys 11% stake in Holvis
Wednesday 31 May 1995
The battle for control of Holvis, the Swiss paper group, intensified yesterday when BBA, the UK engineering group, bought 11.1 per cent of the company.
BBA said the move was aimed at bolstering its recommended Sfr466m (pounds 247m) bid for Holvis against a Sfr487m (pounds 257m) hostile offer from International Paper of the US. "It signifies that BBA is serious about Holvis," a spokesman said.
Holvis's chief financial officer, Rudold Wenger, said the 11.1 per cent stake represented the entire holding of one investor, whom he declined to identify.
IP said the UK company's payment of Sfr500 a share for 98,350 Holvis shares was of no significance and it would press on with its bid.
Holvis has already rejected IP's increased offer, saying it would stand by its agreed offer from BBA. However, Milan Turk, IP's senior vice president, said: "We don't believe in pursuing things with no possibilities of success. Our time is too valuable. We are confident in our position and, being confident, we are proceeding."
BBA, whose chairman is Bob Quarta, made a last-minute pounds 247m bid for Holvis on Friday, with a pounds 132m side-deal for Fiberweb, the Swiss company's non- woven division. Holvis and BBA signed a lock-out deal preventing another bidder from taking over Fiberweb whatever the size of its bid for the entire company.
IP raised its bid for Holvis on Monday from Sfr435 to Sfr500 a share provided Holvis abandoned an agreement to sell Fiberweb to BBA. But Holvis said it would honour BBA's bid and added it would not pull out of the separate deal to sell Fiberweb.
Executives from Holvis, IP and BBA will attend a special meeting at the bourse commission, which oversees Switzerland's takeover code, on Wednesday to discuss the takeover battle.
Mr Turk said IP considered Holvis had not acted in good faith. IP sought discussions with Holvis last week and was finally told on Thursday that it had 15 minutes to improve on its Sfr435 per share offer. IP promptly upped its bid to Sfr480.
Turk said IP was then told there was another bidder but was given no immediate details. It later emerged that BBA had bid Sfr500 a share, only 4 per cent more than IP's offer, Mr Turk said. A Holvis executive again said yesterday that it remained committed to the BBA deal.
Lock-out deals, such as the BBA-Holvis agreement, are illegal in the UK in contested takeovers. Under Swiss law it is currently possible for the board of directors to sell assets without shareholder approval. However, new rules banning such lock-out deals are to come into force next year.
This is Switzerland's first hostile takeover battle.
Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart bromance continues: X-Men star gushes about 'pussy cat' BFF Patrick Stewart
David Cameron stung by jellyfish: PM hurt after ignoring advice of locals while on holiday
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Kim Jong-un, crowds and contraband: Inside North Korea with the Pyongyang marathon winner
Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
- 1 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 2 'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 Angus Steakhouse: How does tourist staple continue to thrive in today's gourmet market?
- 5 Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
iJobs Money & Business
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£221.25 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a well established Inter...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Client Relationship Manager - SQL...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Take your chance to join the...