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Germany's IG Metall union rejects AMS takeover offer for Osram

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Germany's IG Metall union rejects AMS takeover offer for Osram
FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of lamp manufacturer Osram is pictured in Munich, Germany, August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo   -   Copyright  Michael Dalder(Reuters)
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VIENNA (Reuters) – Germany’s powerful union IG Metall, which represents the interests of Osram <OSRn.DE> employees in the tussle over the German lighting group’s future, on Monday rejected a planned takeover offer from Austrian sensor specialist AMS <AMS.S>.

“For IG Metall, the strategy behind AMS’s offer is still not convincing,” a spokeswoman said. “On the basis of the facts available to us to date, IG Metall continues to clearly reject a takeover of Osram by AMS.”

AMS plans to buy Osram in a deal that would value the bigger group at 4.3 billion euros (£3.9 billion), trumping a competing bid by finance investors Bain and Carlyle <CG.O>.

With the acquisition, the Austrian company wants to create a global heavyweight in sensors and photonics serving the automotive, industrial and medical industries as well as consumer electronics. Osram <OSRn.DE> and AMS <AMS.S> said last week that talks about a takeover were progressing.

“We are aware of the (IG Metall) concerns,” an AMS spokeswoman said in response to the union’s statement. “We remain confident that we can address them.”

The aim was still to start the tender period for the offer before the end of Sept. 5 – the day the rival offer is expected to conclude, she said.

To be able to do so, AMS needs Osram to waive a standstill agreement within days as Germany’s financial watchdog Bafin first has to examine and approve the offer, which usually takes up to 10 working days.

AMS had previously shown interest in Osram in June, and in order to gain access for due diligence it signed a confidentiality agreement at the time, which includes a 12-month standstill.

The Osram supervisory board will meet on Monday evening to discuss next steps, two sources familiar with the issue told Reuters.

(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle in Vienna and Joern Poltz in Munich; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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