DuPont extends Danisco offer deadline

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Stock, Danisco

DuPont has extended the tender offer period related to its acquisition of Danisco shares by more than a month to April 1, 2011, the company has said.

DuPont said that it had extended the offer period, which was due to expire on Tuesday, in order to allow more time for regulatory approval and clearances from authorities in the European Union and China. But the extension will also allow investors more time to respond to DuPont’s offer of DDK 665 (about $115 or €85) per share. DuPont and Danisco announced the $6.3bn deal, which includes assumption of $500m of debt, on January 9, and it relies on acceptance from 90 percent of shareholders.

DuPont estimated that by close of business on Thursday, about five percent of Danisco shareholders had accepted, and added that it regards this as a typical level of acceptance for this stage in a voluntary tender offer in Denmark.

DuPont chair and CEO Ellen Kullman said: “We are pleased with our progress at this stage in the tender offer period. We continue to move forward with regulatory approvals and remain confident that Danisco shareholders will continue to tender their shares as this process progresses.

"DuPont's offer of DKK 665 is full, fair and firm and it is a result of a competitive and thorough auction process conducted by Danisco's board of directors. This offer provides Danisco shareholders with the certainty of cash at a significant premium above Danisco's all-time high trading price before the offer was announced, and Danisco's board believes it provides superior value to Danisco's standalone strategy.”

Kullman added that DuPont still expects the deal to be finalized by early in the second quarter.

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.

Danisco’s board has recommended that its shareholders should accept the offer, but 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 said that if all competition approvals have not been obtained by April 1, it could again extend the offer period to April 29.

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