Cooper to give up on Laird takeover

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The Independent Online

Cooper Industries appears set to withdraw its planned $875m acquisition for British rival Laird, the electronics components group, after both parties were unable to agree on a price.

Dublin-based Cooper Industries upped its takeover bid to 200p from 175p on 27 July but Laird has indicated it will not agree to less than 220p. Cooper has said this is not "appropriate or justifiable" and has given Laird until 5pm today to change its mind, otherwise it will withdraw its offer.

Kirk Hachigian, the chief executive of Cooper, said: "We are frustrated. We have been clear that we have some flexibility on price and are keen to review any information provided by Laird to see if a deal can be done."

For its part, Laird released a letter that its chairman Nigel Keen had sent to Mr Hachigian, last Friday.

It said: "We remain prepared to meet you and your team tomorrow to discuss value-related points. This will not be due diligence, but information to allow you to indicate to the market, if you so wish, that you are prepared to offer 220p for each Laird share ex-dividend."

He added: "We are not prepared to meet if you are not, in principle, prepared to increase your indication of value from the 200p cum dividend you have mentioned to the value shown above."