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Tod's investor repeats criticism of Della Valles' bid as offer nears end

Tod's investor repeats criticism of Della Valles' bid as offer nears end
By Reuters
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By Elisa Anzolin

MILAN - Tod's investor Tabor Asset Management has sent a second letter to complain the price set by the founding family of the Italian luxury shoemaker in its take-private bid is unfair, as the offer nears its conclusion.

As of Thursday, Italian bourse data showed take-up amounted to 5.89% of the shares targeted by the offer, or 1.5% of the group's capital.

Tod's declined to comment.

The tender period ends on Tuesday and the last two or three days are normally decisive for the outcome of a bid as investors wait until the very end to tender the shares.

Tod's founder Diego Della Valle and his brother, through their family vehicle DeVa Finance, have launched a 338 million euro ($329 million) offer to buy out other investors in the company and de-list it.

The move aims at relaunching Tod's by managing its diverse brands separately, possibly divesting some to focus investments on the most profitable ones, Roger Vivier and Tod's.

Since the offer was announced in early August Tod's shares have been trading slightly above the offer's price of 40 euros a share. They were flat at 40.62 euros each by 1220 GMT on Friday.

GRAPHIC - Tod's shares

Della Valle family owns 64.5% of the company, while French luxury giant LVMH said it would retain its 10% stake.

Tod's board had deemed fair the price of 40 euros per share.

The New York-based hedge fund, which sent another letter in September, said that the Tod's board should have given a negative opinion on the fairness of the offer, which "does not reflect the "real" value of the issuer and its group."

The hedge fund also pointed out that the banks financing the offer used a group of peers which have higher multiples than the ones identified by Tod's board when providing its fairness opinions.

Using the banks' group of peers the price should be of around 64 euros.

Tabor Asset Management has a 0.6% stake in the group.

To hit the delisting goal, the Della Valles need to reach a 90% ownership in the group, including LVMH's stake.

Failing that, the family still plans to merge Tod's with DeVa which is promoting the offer.

($1 = 1.0264 euros)

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