VIENNA (Reuters) – Private equity firm Advent International is in talks to join Bain Capital in its takeover bid for Germany’s Osram <OSRn.DE>, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter, a move that could further fuel the bidding war for the lighting group.
Bain, together with Carlyle Group <CG.O>, had been hoping to take over Osram for 35 euros per share, and they had reached a broad agreement with the Osram management and its supervisory board.
Then Austrian sensor specialist AMS AG <AMS.S> <AMS.VI> stepped in and offered to pay 10% more for Osram, resulting in the latter advising its shareholders to accept the Austrians’ 4.3 billion euro ($4.7 billion) bid.
Bain has been pushing Carlyle to increase their offer but Carlyle does not want to spend more money, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
To strengthen the bidding consortium’s chances and fend off competition from AMS, Bain has been considering bringing in another investor, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter. But it said no final decision has been made on whether Advent will join its bid.
Spokespeople for Bain and Carlyle, Advent and Osram declined to comment.
The current bid is valid until Oct. 1. AMS needs to convince 62.5% of Osram investors to sell their shares to succeed. Bain and Carlyle have a threshold of 70%.
($1 = 0.9077 euros)
(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle in Vienna and Alexander Huebner in Munich; Editing by Hugh Lawson)