EQT extends Skr9.6bn security bid again

The Nordic buyout firm has extended its bid for Securitas Direct after receiving limited shareholder acceptance for its bid. An independent review committee has opposed the offer.

Nordic buyout firm EQT’s Skr9.6 billion (€1 billion; $1.5 billion) bid for Securitas Direct has been extended until 18 February. This is the second extension of the deadline. The bid, which was due to close last Friday, received acceptance from 54.1 percent of the group’s capital and 67.8 percent of votes.

The firm’s Skr26 per share offer needs acceptance from 90 percent of the votes.

In December, an independent review committee appointed by the company’s board recommended shareholders not to accept the offer. The Swedish Shareholders’ Association also advised its members to reject the bid in January after the committee’s recommendation.

EQT first extended its bid in early January to February 1. The firm could not immediately be reached for comment.

According to a statement, the buyout firm is currently pursuing discussions with Securitas Direct’s independent committee regarding the terms of the extended offer.

EQT has been joined in its bid by the three priority shareholders in Securitas Nordic investment firms SäkI, MSAB and Latour, who will increase their stakes to 8 percent, 10 percent and 17 percent respectively should the bid succeed.

Presently Latour is the largest shareholder in Securitas Direct with a 7.5 percent stake and 12.2 percent of the votes. MSAB and SäkI own 4.5 percent and 3.5 percent of the shares and 10.9 percent and 17.4 percent of the votes respectively.

The offer price was a premium of 40 percent above the company’s average closing share price on the OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm during the three months ending 12 November when the offer was made.

The trading in Securitas shares was suspended today after they closed at Skr25.40 per share on Friday night when the bid period was due to run out.