EQT sweetens security company bid

The Nordic buyout firm EQT has upped its offer for Securitas Direct, after its original offer failed to woo sufficient shareholders to approve the take-private attempt.

Nordic buyout firm EQT has improved its offer for Nordic security company Securitas Direct to Skr10.1 billion ($1.57 billion; €1.07 billion) after receiving limited shareholder acceptance for its bid and having extended the offer.

The bid is a Skr500 million increase on its earlier offer. The new offer is a premium of 48.7 percent to the average share price during the three months. The previous 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.

In December, an independent review committee appointed by the company’s board recommended shareholders not to accept the offer. The independent review committee has now advised shareholders to accept the improved offer.

The buyout firm had been pursuing discussions with Securitas Direct’s independent committee regarding the terms of the extended offer.

The Swedish Shareholders’ Association also advised its members to reject the bid in January after the committee’s initial recommendation.

The offer has been extended until 19 February at 1600 pm and 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 for the lower offer.

EQT first extended its bid in early January to February 1.

The firm’s Skr27.5 per share offer needs acceptance from 90 percent of the votes.

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.

Securitas shares were trading up by 5.12 percent at Skr26.70 per share at 1500 CET today.