The management and supervisory boards of Balda AG, the German medical molder at the center of a takeover battle, have accepted an 80 million euro ($87.6 million) binding offer made by Stevanato Group of Italy.
Stevanato's offer is higher than a previous bid of 74 million euros ($81 million) from Heitkamp &Thumann Group of Germany which shareholders had approved during a Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 meeting, but that vote was not binding until Balda had a chance to review a last minute bid by Stevanato of Piombino Dese, Italy.
Balda had until Dec. 14 to review the new offer, and came on the deadline day with a nod for Stevanato.
“The Management Board and the Supervisory Board have reviewed the offer by Stevanato in detail and, taking all facts into account, regard the offer by Stevanato preferable to the offer by H&T,” Balda said in a Dec. 15 statement.
The management board is planning to convene a special meeting for shareholders to vote on the Stevanato offer on Jan. 29 in Hannover, Germany.
Like H&T's offer, Stevanato has proposed to buy all operating units of the Balda Group: Balda Medical GmbH & Co KG in Germany; Balda C Brewer,Inc and Balda Precision Inc, both located in California; Balda Medical Systems SRL of Romania; and further assets.
Balda said: “Moreover, Stevanato also offers to keep all employees of the operating units and take over staff of Balda AG. Contrary to H&T, Stevanato intends to also purchase the ‘Balda' brand and any associated [intangible] assets.”
H&T has not yet decided if it will increase its 74 million euro offer, said Nils Hubert, director of human resources and public affairs at H&T. Speaking to Plastics News Europe, he said H&T will wait for more details about Stevanato's offer to be released by Balda ahead of the special meeting.
Hubert referred to an earlier statement issued by Balda on Dec. 14 in which it said: “The binding offer by Stevanato is oriented towards the bid by H&T, but in part contains deviating guarantees and indemnities of the sellers.”
Hubert said: “It will be interesting to see if our offer and Stevanato's offer are really comparable, or if the Stevanato offer has higher risks for shareholders.”