EDF launches offer for EcoSecurities as bid war hots up

CARBON credits firm EcoSecurities yesterday rejected a takeover bid from French utility giant Electricit&eacute; de France (EDF), the second it has received in June so far, sparking hopes that a bidding war will soon break out for the company.<br /><br />EDF Trading, a subsidiary of EDF, said it was considering a cash offer of at least 75p per share for EcoSecurities, which develops carbon offsetting projects under the Kyoto Protocol&rsquo;s clean mechanism scheme.<br /><br />But EcoSecurities hit back in a statement, saying the offer was &ldquo;wholly inadequate&rdquo;. <br /><br />It also confirmed it had recently received and rejected another indicative conditional proposal from EDF at 96p a share.<br /><br />EDF&rsquo;s bid came just one trading day after EcoSecurities on Friday received and snubbed a further potential bid at 60p per share, launched by its co-founder and former president Pedro Moura Costa, through investment vehicle Guanabara Holdings.<br /><br />Analysts yesterday suggested the bids coming in substantially undervalued the stock. <br /><br />Mirabaud analyst Agustin Hochschild retained his 143p price target on the stock.<br /><br />And KBC Peel Hunt&rsquo;s Andrew Shepherd Barron said in a note to the market that a &ldquo;fair value&rdquo; for EcoSecurities would be nearer 136p when taking into account expected volume delivered and the current price of carbon.<br /><br />Shares in EcoSecurities yesterday rose 30 per cent on the Aim market to close at 77.5p.