A new bidder has emerged with a 2.1 billion euro ($2.26 billion) offer to buy plastic pipe extruder Uponor Oyj. And this time, Uponor is supporting the deal.
Schaffhausen, Switzerland-based Georg Fischer Ltd. on June 12 announced the 28.85-euro-per-share offer for Vantaa, Finland-based Uponor, trumping the 25.75 euro offer from Brussels-based Aliaxis SA.
All three European-based companies have significant North American pipe operations.
The board of directors of Uponor is recommending that its shareholders accept the offer from Georg Fischer.
Hans Sohlström, a member of Uponor's board, commented: "We recognize that a combination with GF would provide strength for the future development of the combined company. Furthermore, considering the offered value, it is in the best interest of Uponor's shareholders."
Aliaxis, which owns Pineville, N.C.-based pipe extruder Ipex USA LLC, announced May 22 that it was offering 25.75 euros per share for Uponor. At the time, Uponor's board rejected the bid, with Sohlström noting that the board was considering other offers.
Georg Fischer Piping Systems has estimated North American plastic pipe extrusion sales of $230 million, according to Plastics News data. The Irvine, Calif.-based unit of Georg Fischer AG has eight North American factories.
Uponor Inc., the Apple Valley, Minn.-based unit of Uponor Oyj, has estimated North American pipe sales of $490 million. It has two North American plants.
According to GF, Uponor would substantially increase the sales of GF Piping Systems in North America, where it estimates that one third of new homes have Uponor pipes, and in the Nordic countries, where Uponor is one of the largest suppliers.