Klockner Werke AG of Duisburg, Germany, is likely to become part of German real estate conglomerate WCM Beteiligungsund Grundbesitz AG.
The management board of Klockner recommended that shareholders accept WCM's recently sweetened offer for the firm. The new offer is worth about 13 percent more than the one Klockner rejected Dec. 20.
Klockner, parent of film and sheet producer Klockner Pentaplast GmbH, said WCM boosted its offer after discussions between the companies. WCM announced its new offer Jan. 5, and Klockner's board responded the same day with its recommendation to accept.
WCM's original offer included 7 euros ($6.61) in cash and one WCM share for each Klockner share. The new offer includes an additional WCM share per four Klockner shares, conditional on a shareholder holding the WCM shares for 12 months. Those "loyalty shares" will be provided by the Ehlerding family, WCM's major shareholder.
As of Jan. 10, WCM's share price was about 15 euros ($14.17) on the Frankfurt stock exchange, down about 0.60 euro (56 cents) from the previous day's close. The price was the lowest in the past year, well down from the 52-week high of about 40 euros ($37.79) per share. Klockner's share price Jan. 10 was about 22.22 euros ($20.99) on the Frankfurt exchange, near its 52-week high. The low in the past year was about 18 euros.
WCM of Frankfurt had been buying Klockner shares since December 1999 and, as of Dec. 16, 2000, had accumulated 39.3 percent of Klockner's voting rights.
Klockner Pentaplast owns Klockner Pentaplast of America Inc. of Gordonsville, Va. WCM has said it will support Klockner's emphasis on its film business as Klockner tries to exit machinery production.
"Klockner Pentaplast continues to operate according to its current business plan, which includes the aggressive global growth strategy of internal expansions, new products and select acquisitions," Klockner Pentaplast of America President Tom Goeke said in a Jan. 9 news release.
WCM rents out commercial and residential buildings in Germany and has investment stakes in a range of industrial companies. Its 1999 sales were 335 million euros ($316.5 million).
Klockner said in a Jan. 5 news release that it will become a subgroup of WCM, and its stock will continue to be listed.