Japanese firm set to secure Pilkington

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The Independent Online

A Japanese firm today looked set to secure glass maker Pilkington after a report said it had beefed up its takeover offer to £2.2 billion.

The Nippon Sheet Glass Company, which owns almost 20% of the 180-year old St Helens, Merseyside-based firm, has already had two indicative offers worth £1.97 billion and £2.08 billion turned down by the Pilkington board.

But a report in The Times today said Pilkington chairman Sir Nigel Rudd and the rest of the company's board would now back the new 165p per share offer.

Analysts believe Nippon could generate savings from combining its UK subsidiary NGF Europe with the headquarters of Pilkington as they are both based in St Helens.

The two businesses are viewed as complementary as Nippon is the number-two supplier of glass to the automotive market in Japan while Pilkington has carved out strong positions in North America and Europe.

Major customers of Nippon are expanding and analysts believe they have been putting pressure on the firm to strengthen its presence overseas.

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