Sulzer shareholders reject low InCentive

Braginsky's hostile bid is turned down at the Swiss conglomerate’s AGM.

Sulzer shareholders have voted down a hostile bid from investment firm InCentive, according to the Wall Street Journal.

At Swiss industrial conglomerate Sulzer’s AGM yesterday, shareholders cast 840,088 votes against the takeover and 560,864 in favour.

InCentive made its bid of CHF430 in cash per share in February. As an alternative, it also proposed a share swap of one InCentive share for each Sulzer share. InCentive’s shares stand at about CHF450.

But Sulzer argued that the offer was far too low. Analysts have valued the company at just under twice InCentive’s offer price.

InCentive also proposed that the Sulzer board be removed at yesterday’s AGM and be fully replaced by InCentive directors and nominees.

UBS Warburg and Morgan Stanley are advising Sulzer on the offer, which began on April 17. Its first closing date May 22.

InCentive is led by entrepreneur René Braginsky and holds a 15 per cent direct and indirect stake in 167-year old Sulzer.