Munich (dpa) - The shareholders of the lighting manufacturer for sale Osram to have the choice of two competing takeover offers.
The Osram board of directors now wants to make a friendly takeover bid possible for the Austrian semiconductor manufacturer AMS - even before the first offer from US financial investors Bain Capital and Carlyle, which has already been approved by Bafin, expires on 5 September. This was reported by Osram.
This has increased the chances of AMS. The US companies offer 35 euros per share, the Austrians want to outdo that with 38.50 euros. The offer from Bain Capital and Carlyle has so far met with a very muted response from Osram shareholders. The largest shareholder is Allianz Global Investors (AGI), the asset manager of the Munich-based insurance group. AGI has rejected the US offer as too low.
For a public takeover bid to the Osram shareholders, however, AMS needs the approval of Bafin, which usually completes its examination of takeover bids within ten days, but could also take more time. Therefore, the matter is urgent for AMS.
Osram's board of directors and supervisory board had favored the takeover by Bain Capital and Carlyle for weeks, but left AMS cold-shouldered. Now it was said that Osram and AMS have had constructive talks on a merger agreement since Tuesday. According to Osram, Osram attaches great importance to AMS providing "adequate protection commitments", above all for the employees and "all material parts of the company". However, Osram agreed that the Management Board and the Supervisory Board wanted to examine and decide on the merger agreement to be negotiated "in a timely manner".
AMS is heavily in debt and would have to finance the acquisition on credit. Therefore, there are fears that the Austrians could counter-finance an acquisition by smashing Osram to keep only those parts that are important to AMS. AMS and Osram are direct competitors in some fields, such as optical sensors.