Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Bang & Olufsen A/S, the Danish maker of luxury stereo systems, said the Chinese suitor who’s been negotiating to purchase the company has become its biggest investor, buying stock from Delta Lloyd NV that increases his stake to almost 19 percent.

Qi Jianhong, a Chinese investor, has agreed to buy all 5.67 million shares in Bang & Olufsen held by two affiliates of Delta Lloyd for 85 kroner each, according to a statement Thursday. That will give one of his companies about a 13.1 percent stake, according to the statement. Another owns 5.6 percent, bringing his total to 18.7 percent, the company said.

The price is 14 percent higher than Bang & Olufsen’s closing price of 74.5 kroner on Thursday, suggesting a market value of about 3.67 billion kroner ($561 million). With the purchase, Qi gains the clout of being the company’s biggest investor, without having to buy it all.

“We are very happy to become a major shareholder, and as communicated previously we may in the future seek to achieve a majority ownership of Bang & Olufsen A/S through a public offer for all shares in the company,” Qi said in a statement.

The transaction gives B&O and its other shareholders a measure of clarity after a murky, months-long sales process for the company. Those efforts had left it with no strategic buyers, and one suitor in Qi, who as of Wednesday hadn’t even made a bid. A day before the deal, B&O described the talks with Qi as “uncertain,” as it raised its revenue forecast.

The stock was previously held by two Delta Lloyd funds, Delta Lloyd Europees Deelnemingen Fonds NV and Delta Lloyd L SIVAC, according to the statement. Delta Lloyd and its affiliates last reported holding 6.36 million Bang & Olufsen shares in May 2015, making the Dutch institution the company’s biggest shareholder with about 15 percent, according to Bloomberg data.

Qi holds the B&O stock through two companies, Sparkle Roll Group Ltd. BVI and Sparkle Roll Holdings Ltd. BVI, according to his statement. He owns 100 percent of both companies.

He is also listed as the biggest shareholder in a separate, Hong Kong-listed retailer with a similar name, Sparkle Roll Group Ltd., which sells luxury goods including B&O electronics.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony Palazzo in Los Angeles at apalazzo@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Tasneem Hanfi Brögger

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