Greiner AG is stepping up its two-year battle to acquire Recticel NV, announcing a plan to buy out Recticel's largest single shareholder.
Brussels-based Recticel is a maker of polyurethane foams used in a range of end products including insulation, bedding and auto interiors.
On May 14, Greiner said it was buying out Bois Sauvage and its 27.03 percent stake, with plans to launch a voluntary takeover with an offer to pay 13.50 euros ($16.40) per share.
For its part, Recticel has said that after its annual meeting on May 25, it will hold an extraordinary general meeting asking shareholders for permission to generate 25 percent more shares. Adding shares will make it more expensive for any company considering a takeover.
Kremsmünster, Austria-based Greiner, a maker of construction products and packaging, first expressed interest in buying Recticel in April 2019.
In a May 17 news release, Greiner said its board "looks to obtain additional information about the envisaged transactions in order to assess these announcements in the interest of all stakeholders."
If nothing stops Greiner's from buying the shares from Bois Sauvage, then it could gain two seats on Recticel's board that go with the shares. There are seven other directors.
This would put Recticel in an uncomfortable position, with a competitor as a significant minority shareholder potentially influencing its decisions. But Greiner's strategy is to gain at least one share over 50 percent, giving it control.
About 60 percent of Recticel's shares are traded on the Brussels stock exchange. Directors and other large shareholders hold 9 percent.