POWER protection firm Chloride said last night a new takeover bid from American rival Emerson was a superior proposal to the deal already made with Swiss firm ABB.
Emerson raised its offer by more than a third to 375p per share yesterday, surpassing a prior board agreement with Swiss firm ABB for 325p per share. The move escalates an already heated bidding war, and values the firm at nearly £1bn.
Chloride, whose uninterruptible power supply technology is used at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium, saw its shares gain 11 per cent to close at 387p yesterday, suggesting some investors think ABB could yet trump Emerson’s bid.
Under the earlier agreement, if Chloride tells ABB it has received a “superior offer”, the Swiss company has 48 hours to match or better that proposal.
ABB said it was considering its options and would say more in due course.
Emerson, a leader in the critical power market in the US, is keen to grow in Europe and make savings of scale from a tie-up with Chloride, whose products are also used to protect against power cuts at data centres, airports and hospitals.
ABB has no existing operations in critical power supply, but chief executive Joe Hogan said after Chloride accepted its bid: “The transaction is in line with our strategy to acquire companies especially in areas where power for demand and automation solutions is converging.”
Deutsche Bank analyst Nigel Coe said in a note: “It is clear that Chloride is viewed as a critical acquisition by Emerson, but shareholders may not like the price.”
PHILIP ROBERT-TISSOT - CITIGROUP
CHRIS TRENEMAN - INVESTEC
CHLORIDE has equipped itself well for the frenetic pace of the ongoing bidding war, by hiring several advisers with a wealth of experience in mergers and acquisitions.
Philip Robert-Tissot has been involved in some titanic takeovers in recent times, advising Kraft on its deal to buy Cadbury this year and acting for Spanish construction firm Ferrovial in its takeover of BAA in 2006. He won a Henry Ford II Scholar Award for his MBA from Cranfield University in 1988, and is currently Citigroup’s UK managing director.
Also advising Chloride is Chris Treneman, who is a managing director at Investec. He worked for Dresdner Kleinwort until April 2009, until the investment bank was taken over by Commerzbank. His work for Investec has seen him advise retailers Alexon Group on a £20m capital raising exercise in March.
Greenhill is advising Emerson, while Credit Suisse is advising ABB.