InCentive walks away from Sulzer – at least for now

InCentive will withdraw its takeover bid, but vows to remain an active shareholder.

Corporate raider Rene Braginski, chief executive of Swiss investment company Incentive Capital, is unwilling to let Sulzer AG off the hook too easily.

Following the rejection by shareholders last week of InCentive’s plans for the Swiss diversified industrial group, the investment group announced it would withdraw its bid. However the company also said it would continue to take an active interest in Sulzer going forward.

The withdrawal was widely expected after InCentive’s call at Sulzer’s Annual General Meeting for a board reshuffle and a number of other measures failed. The move will terminate the takeover offer period that had been set to run until May 22.

Braginsky, who controls around 15 per cent of Sulzer’s stock, said that “Sulzer’s management will now be evaluated by their ability to create value.” The Zug based investment group said it would “keep its options open”.

A Sulzer spokesperson described InCentive’s decision to scrap the bid as good news for everyone concerned.

The group is understood to be pressing on with plans to spin off Sulzer Medica, its most important revenue generator. It also said it may sell off other parts of the business to create value.