Danisco’s board of directors unanimously recommended on January 21 that shareholders accept the offer of DDK 665 per share, equivalent to about $115 or €85 per share, for a total of DKK 36.1bn. DuPont and Danisco announced the $6.3bn deal, which includes assumption of $500m of debt, on January 9.
In recommending the offer to shareholders, Danisco’s chairman of the board Jørgen Tandrup said in a statement that the DuPont offer compares favourably with any stand-alone strategy for the company, “given the execution and other risks associated with such a strategy.”
The DDK 665 offer is about 25 percent higher than Danisco’s previous highest ever share price of 530 krone, which it reached on January 7, 2011, and represents a 58.7 per cent premium on the company’s average share price for the prior 12-month period. However, a majority of analysts surveyed by Reuters at the end of last month recommended that shareholders should hold out for a higher offer from DuPont.
DuPont chief executive Ellen Kullman flew into Denmark on January 31 to insist that shareholders should not expect a higher bid.
The deal relies on at least 90 per cent of shareholders accepting the offer, and many have been waiting for major shareholders such as Dutch chemicals group DSM and Danish pension fund group ATP to declare their stance before deciding whether to accept the deal.
DSM has a 4.95 per cent stake in Danisco, and ATP has a 5.1 per cent stake.
DuPont and Danisco formed a biofuels partnership in 2008 to develop cellulosic ethanol. Danisco’s specialty food ingredients business represents about 65 per cent of its sales, with the remaining 35 per cent coming from its Genencor enzymes division.