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InCentive withdraws hostile bid for Sulzer

Vannotti can now concentrate on refocussing Sulzer Keystone Archive

InCentive Capital announced on Thursday that was withdrawing its hostile takeover bid for the industrial conglomerate, Sulzer Industries.

The announcement was widely expected after InCentive, an investment company headed by René Braginsky, failed to win over shareholders at Sulzer’s annual general meeting last week.

InCentive was hoping to elect its own board and to abolish voting restrictions to ease through its SFr 1.6 billion ($0.94 million) bid, but failed on both counts. Shareholders voted to stick with the current board, headed by Leonardo Vannotti.

In its statement, however, InCentive said that it would keep all its options open.

Braginsky says his bid has forced Sulzer to spin off its medical technology unit, Sulzer Medica, into a separate company. Sulzer currently owns 74 per cent of Sulzer Medica, but last week’s AGM voted to make it fully independent this summer.

The takeover attempt, launched in February, also saw the former chairman of Sulzer, Ueli Roost, resign to be replaced by Vannotti.

Roost was identified too strongly with last year’s aborted plan to merge Sulzer and Sulzer Medica.

After Sulzer Medica is spun off Vannotti wants to re-focus Sulzer on its most profitable industrial businesses such as surface technology and turbomachinery.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR