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Top Osram investor rejects takeover offer at 'knock-down' price

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Top Osram investor rejects takeover offer at 'knock-down' price
FILE PHOTO: Logo of lamp manufacturer Osram is pictured during official opening of the company's World of Light showroom in Munich, Germany, October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo   -   Copyright  Michaela Rehle(Reuters)
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MUNICH (Reuters) – The biggest shareholder in German lighting group Osram <OSRn.DE> Allianz Global Investors, has rejected a 3.4 billion euro (£3.14 billion) takeover offer from private equity firms Bain and Carlyle <CG.O>, saying the shares were worth more.

“Based on available information, AllianzGI is minded not to accept the offer despite it being recommended to shareholders by the board of management and supervisory board,” AllianzGI, which owns a stake of 9.3 percent, said in a statement.

“AllianzGI finds it regrettable that they appear to have insufficient confidence in the business they are managing that they have chosen instead to sell out at what looks to be a knock-down price.”

Bain Capital declined to comment.

The AllianzGI statement is a setback for Bain and Carlyle, which will want a minimum acceptance of 70 percent of the outstanding shares when the offer period is expected to conclude on Sept. 5. By last Friday, only 0.9% of shares had accepted.

AllianzGI said an independent opinion it commissioned suggested that Osram shares are worth more than the 35 euros per share currently on offer.

Struggling with weakness in the automotive industry and a broader economic slowdown, Osram has seen its stock lose more than 60% of its value since hitting a high of 79.58 euros in January 2018.

When AllianzGI took its stake above 5% in 2017, Osram shares were trading at 67 euros. When it raised the stake again late last year, they were trading at about 40 euros.

Osram management said last month the private equity groups were committed to the company’s growth strategy and had made “extensive commitments” about employees and locations.

(Reporting by Alexander Hübner, writing by Emma Thomasson; editing by David Evans)

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