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AMS expects result of takeover attempt of Osram on Friday evening

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AMS expects result of takeover attempt of Osram on Friday evening
An employee of Austrian sensor specialist AMS shows samples of sensor wafers in their factory in Unterpremstaetten, Austria October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger   -   Copyright  LEONHARD FOEGER(Reuters)
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VIENNA (Reuters) – Austrian sensor maker AMS <AMS.S> <AMS.VI> said on Friday that the result of its 4.5 billion euro takeover bid for Germany’s Osram <OSRn.DE> might not come until the evening.

AMS had secured around 30% of Osram shares shortly before its takeover offer expired at midnight on Tuesday after a tender offer, but the rest were still being counted and it needs to secure at least 62.5%.

The counting would probably take until late on Friday, a spokesman for the company said.

AMS, best known for supplying Apple <AAPL.O> with sensors for iPhones, wants to build a leader in sensors and photonics, combining AMS’s expertise in sensors with Osram’s in high-tech lights and LEDs.

The Swiss-listed company had engaged in a bidding war with private equity over the much bigger lighting group. While AMS initially beat Bain Capital and Carlyle Group’s <CG.O> 4 billion euro bid by 10%, it increased its offer a week ago after Bain signalled it might launch an even higher bid with new partner Advent.

Bain and Advent have not made another move so far, but they could try to if AMS does not reach the 62.5% threshold.

Osram, whose lightbulbs were once ubiquitous in European homes, became a takeover target after Chief Executive Olaf Berlien’s strategy of turning it into a high-tech photonics company did not bring the hoped-for success. Osram reported a loss in the third quarter with all of its business units seeing double-digit falls in revenue.

To make it difficult for a new potential bidder, AMS has piled up a 19.99% direct stake in Osram by buying shares on the market.

If its offer fails but AMS increases its stake to 30% by buying more shares, the Austrian group would have to make a mandatory takeover offer according to German law.

(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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