The ongoing battle between FTSE 100 engineer Weir and Danish rival FLSmidth over the takeover of Australian mining equipment supplier Ludowici is raging on with both companies continuing to raise their offer prices to outdo the other.
Back on February 10th, Weir announced that it would pay A$7.92 per Ludowici share, representing a 10% premium to FLSmidth's indicative proposal of A$7.20 a share, announced on January 23rd. FLSmidth then raised its offer to A$10 per share a week later and entered into a scheme implementation agreement, but Weir claims that FLSmidth filed a 'no increase statement' with the original offer.
After Weir matched the A$10-a-share price last week, the Danish group then raised its proposed offer again to A$11 and announced yesterday that it has published a 'Declaration and Orders' which allows it to proceed with its offer.
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However, FLSmidth published a press release on January 31st saying that it reserved its right to increase its initial offer of A$7.20-per-share. According to a statement released yesterday by the Danish firm, the said press release "should have been made earlier", being reported some eight days after the original offer.
"As a consequence, the Takeovers Panel has ordered FLSmidth to implement a process that may result in compensation to Ludowici shareholders who may have suffered a loss by selling Ludowici shares in the period from 23 January 2012 and until 31 January 2012 in reliance on FLSmidth's statement of 23 January 2012," FLSmidth said.
Weir has today submitted an application to the Review Panel of the Australian Takeovers Panel due to the "unacceptable circumstances in relation to statements made by FLSmidth & Co during its bid for Australian Exchange listed company Ludowici Limited."
"Weir believes it is appropriate to make submissions to the Review Panel that the initial Orders be set aside and that new orders be made to hold FLSmidth to its No Increase statement under the Australian 'truth in takeovers' policy," Weir announced this morning.
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