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German finance watchdog approves new AMS bid for Osram

German finance watchdog approves new AMS bid for Osram
FILE PHOTO: The logo of German lighting manufacturer Osram is illuminated at the company's headquarters in Munich, Germany, September 16, 2019. PIcture taken with long exposure. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert/File Photo -
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Andreas Gebert(Reuters)
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VIENNA (Reuters) – German finance watchdog Bafin has approved AMS’s <AMS.S> renewed $5 billion takeover bid for Osram <OSRn.DE>, kicking off another four-week offer period in which investors of the German lighting group can tender their shares, AMS said on Thursday.

The Austrian sensor maker failed with a first offer at the same price of 41 euros ($45.38) per Osram share last month, a setback for Chief Executive Alexander Everke’s plan to form a European leader for integrated sensor and lighting solutions.

AMS collected 51.6% of shares, including its own nearly 20% stake, short of the required 62.5%.

Some investors had hoped for a higher offer from private equity groups Bain Capital and Advent, which they had signalled but then refrained from after AMS’s miss.

After the finance duo’s exit, Everke continued to negotiate with Osram management and labour representatives to overcome their opposition. They had voiced doubts regarding the ability of AMS with 8,500 staff to integrate Osram’s more than 24,000 employees. The German trade union fears a break-up with many job cuts.

Everke did not manage to provide a business combination agreement with Osram before launching the new bid.

Talks continue that aim at further enhancing “the cooperation between the two companies and expand on Osram’s existing photonics strategy,” AMS said. It was prepared to enhance stakeholder commitments and protective covenants for Osram employees.

Everke has lowered the acceptance rate in his new bid to 55% to increase his chances of success. The new acceptance period will run from Nov. 7 until Dec. 5, AMS said.

(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle, Editing by Michael Shields)

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