The future ownership of German medical injection molder Balda AG continues to be unclear as Stevanato Group of Italy considers a takeover offer that would be higher than the offer from Heitkamp & Thumann Group.
Previously Heitkamp & Thumann's 74 million euro takeover offer beat Paragon Partners' original 62.9 million euro offer. In the latest twist in the story, Padua-based Stevanato has stepped forward with a non-binding offer of 80 million euros for Balda, even though shareholders at Balda voted to accept the offer from Düsseldorf, Germany-based Heitkamp & Thumann. Stevanato has until Dec. 14 to decide if it will make a binding offer for Balda, which is allowing Stevanato to carry out due diligence.
At Balda's annual meeting on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, shareholders for the Bad Oeynhausen, Germany-based company voted 97.4 percent in favor of accepting H&T's offer.
A Balda spokeswoman explained the current situation in response to Plastics News Europe's enquiries: “The [annual meeting] has approved to sell the entire operating business of Balda to Heitkamp & Thumann. However, should Stevanato submit a binding offer for 80 million euros by Dec. 14, Balda's management and supervisory board will review this offer closely and, should they find this offer to be more attractive, will invite for an extraordinary [shareholders' meeting] to vote on this subject.”
Christian Diemer, general partner and CEO at Heitkamp & Thumann, said in a Dec. 1 statement his company was pleased Balda's shareholders had accepted its offer.
“Now it is the responsibility of Balda‘s management and supervisory board to keep the period of uncertainty as short as possible and to close and complete the purchase promptly,” said Diemer. “Our binding purchase agreement provides Balda's shareholders the opportunity to realize an attractive profit immediately. Not closing the purchase agreement would harm Balda's operations and reputation and risks the loss of customer confidence."
Heitkamp & Thumann's press office said the company is not making any additional comment on the situation at Balda and what it would do if Stevanato does make a binding offer.
Stevanato, which makes insulin cartridges and glass primary packaging for the pharmaceutical sector, has not issued a statement about its interest in Balda. The group, which had 285 million euros sales in 2014, has operations in Italy, Denmark, Slovakia, the United States, Mexico and China.