Icelandic rotational molder Promens hf appears to have won a brief but intense takeover battle for fast-expanding Norwegian rigid packaging and components producer Polimoon AS.
Promens' bidding rival, Helsinki, Finland-based private equity investment firm CapMan plc, launched the first offer for Polimoon in mid-October. But CapMan pulled out of the race Nov. 7, when it acknowledged that it had failed to attract 90 percent of Polimoon's shareholders, its target number.
Earlier, CapMan's bidding company, Plast Holding AS, had raised its offer to match Promens' opening bid of 32.5 Norwegian kroner per share, valuing Polimoon at 154 million euros ($196 million).
After discussions between Oslo-based Polimoon's board and Promens, the companies announced that Polimoon Chief Executive Officer Arne Vraalsen will stay on after a takeover ``to work with Promens to make its potential acquisition of Polimoon as successful as possible.''
The flurry of interest in Polimoon was sparked last month when CapMan launched an initial acquisition bid of 27.5 Norwegian kroner per share, equaling a total sale price of around 119 million euros ($151 million).
The offer was accepted immediately by larger Polimoon shareholders, along with its top management, together representing 23 million shares, or 60 percent of Polimoon's outstanding shares, according to Polimoon.
Then, days later, Promens, a global rotomolder owned by investment company Atorka Group hf of Reykjavik, Iceland, entered the fray with a 32.5 kroner-per-share bid, taking Polimoon's value to 154 million euros ($196 million).
The Promens offer was contingent on the firm obtaining sufficient equity financing.
On Nov. 7, the bidding war intensified as CapMan's Plast Holding AS increased its offer to match Promens' - which immediately boosted its own to 35 kroner per share ($5.35).
Promens already is involved in due diligence at Polimoon, and Polimoon Chief Financial Officer Adrian Platt expects the deal to be complete by the end of November.
Referring to the failure of the CapMan bid, Platt said that ``there were a lot of shareholders who sat on their hands when the other offer came in.''
Promens' acquisition will create a leading plastics company and the merged firms ``will have substantial opportunities for further growth, both in current and new markets,'' according to Promens CEO Ragnhildur Geirsdottir.
Polimoon will be run separate from Promens' rotomolding business, and the offer will have no effect on Polimoon's daily operation or working conditions, Geirsdottir added.
Promens, with annual sales of 150 million euros ($190 million), runs 20 plants in 10 countries covering Europe, North America and Asia. Since its 2005 purchase of the Bonar Plastics rotational molding division of London-based Low and Bonar plc, Promens claims to be the world's biggest rotomolder.
In recent years, Polimoon has grown both its rigid plastics packaging and molded components operations through a number of acquisitions across Europe. The company uses a range of plastics processes but is mainly a blow and injection molder. It has roughly 480 blow molding machines and 240 injection molding presses at its 39 plants located in 16 European countries.
Separately, just as Promens was set to acquire Polimoon, Polimoon announced that it was selling its own rotomolding business, Polimoon Bjorkelangen, for 65 million kroner.
The rotomolding plant molds polyethylene products for the marine, automotive and chemical sectors. The marine items include a range of boats.
Polimoon Bjorkelangen has annual sales of about 68 million Norwegian kroner ($10.3 million).
The buyer is Cipax AS, a Norwegian subsidiary of JÃ¶nkÃ¶ping, Sweden-based Xano Industri AB.
The addition will offer Cipax strong synergies with an existing Xano unit, rotomolder Ã–rnplast AB, which has plants in Sweden and Estonia.