CVC persists with fight for Forbo

The European private equity firm's $603 million takeover bid is opposed by shareholders representing 34% of the Swiss industrial group's stock.

CVC Capital Partners has confirmed an offer of CHF260 (€168; $233) per share for Swiss industrial group Forbo. This translates into a total transaction value of CHF705 million (€455 million; $603 million).
 
The offer is backed by the company's board. However, two major shareholders – Rudolf Maag, the chairman of dental technology group Straumann, and Michael Pieper, who owns kitchen equipment company Franke – oppose the deal. Between them, they own around 34 percent of the company, meaning that CVC will find it difficult to reach the two-thirds acceptance level it has set as a condition of their bid.
 
A spokesman for CVC told PEO that the firm was optimistic about finding a solution during their discussions with shareholders over the next month. The offer will remain open until April 6th.
 
Forbo makes products including floor coverings, adhesives and beltings for sale in more than 30 countries. The company employs around 5,600 people, and last year had sales of more than CHF1.6 billion.
 
CVC is a European private equity firm specialising in large leveraged buyouts. It is currently investing CVC European Equity Partners III, its $4 billion 2001 vintage fund.

The firm has an office in Zurich where Christian Wildmoser is heading up CVC’s Swiss activities. Its current portfolio includes Rhiag Group, a Swiss distributor of automotive spare parts.