Cobham moves for Thrane with new £270m bid offer

AVIATION electronics group Cobham yesterday renewed a £270m bid for Danish rival Thrane & Thrane less than a month after withdrawing it.

The company moved after the resignation of satellite equipment maker Thrane’s chairman Waldemar Schmidt.

He has been replaced by long-time board member Morten Eldrup-Jorgense after a string of boardroom disputes over the direction of the company. He said yesterday the company was reviewing its position.

Thrane’s institutional investors have expressed interest in a deal. Cobham has already bought 22.74 per cent of the company from shareholders such as Jupiter Asset Management, taking its stake to 25.59 per cent.

Cobham pulled its offer on 12 March but yesterday appeared upbeat about the chance of closing a deal after all.

It spent up to a year on the groundwork before making its initial offer.

Cobham said the offer represented a 43 per cent premium to the price at which Thrane & Thrane shares were trading before the announcement in February.

Cobham chief executive John Devaney said: “Cobham continues to seek to work with the board of Thrane & Thrane to achieve a recommendation for this offer... in a way that provides the best future for the business, its employees and customers.”

The company said it would not raise its offer unless a third party made a rival bid.

Devaney said the company’s combined maritime resources business could be based in Denmark if the deal goes through.