Icelandic group to trump Candover’s Stork bid(2)

UK buyout firm Candover is faced with a rival bid for the industrial group Stork from Icelandic investor group LME, which holds a blocking stake in the company.

An Icelandic group of investors operating under the banner LME is considering making a bid for industrial group Stork, in which it holds a blocking stake, according to the group’s spokeswoman.

Food processing company Marel has led the LME group’s opposition to UK buyout firm Candover’s €1.5 billion ($2.25 million) bid for the company. 

Marel’s group, now including two Icelandic banks Landisbanki and Eyrir Invest, holds nearly a third of Candover’s shares, according to UK newspaper Financial Times. Marel had been opposed to the bid originally and has taken on the name LME to reflect the other banks involvement.

But the buyout firm’s spokesman said: “Candover remains committed the deal and we are in talks with all shareholders.” The buyout firm had targeted an 80 percent shareholder acceptance of its bid but it is able to change this to 65 percent.

It has also agreed it may proceed with the bid with 50 percent acceptance and the permission of Stork’s board.

Even this 50 percent target may be difficult to reach, as institutional investors Delta Lloyd Asset Management, with a 5.2 percent stake, and Columbia Wanger Asset Management, with 4.5 percent, have opposed the bid. Delta Lloyd said it believed Stork was worth around €10 per share more than Candover’s bid.

However, Candover does have the support of hedge funds Centaurus and Paulson with around a third of the company’s shares.