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Investment firm raises stakes in battle to acquire Sulzer

InCentive has upped the stakes in its bid to buy Sulzer Keystone Archive

The investment firm trying to take over the industrial holding group, Sulzer, raised the stakes on Friday by increasing its offer to shareholders. InCentive Capital said it was now willing to pay SFr430 ($253.5) per share. Its initial offer valued the stock at SFr410.

This content was published on April 6, 2001 - 10:23

The investment firm, owned by financier Réné Braginsky, also increased the share exchange ratio of its bid to Sulzer shareholders. They would now be able to swap one Sulzer share for a full InCentive share instead of the 0.9 previously announced.

The bid also now includes a "contingent value right" which will allow shareholders to claim compensation if InCentive's share price falls below SFr400 on December 13, 2002.

Sulzer immediately dismissed the improved offer as inadequate. A company spokesman said it still undervalued the group.

InCentive launched its hostile takeover campaign in February.

Sulzer has been going through a major reorganisation and is trying to focus on profitable core activities. It also plans to spin off its successful medical technology unit, Sulzer Medica, in which it currently has a 74 per cent stake.

Ueli Roost stepped down as chairman of Sulzer and Sulzer Medica last week. He said he was too strongly identified with the failed merger last year between Sulzer and Sulzer Medica and that InCentive could use him as a weapon in its takeover bid.

Leonardo Vannoti is the new boss at Sulzer and has vowed to beat off InCentive's campaign at the group's AGM later this month.

swissinfo with agencies

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