Sacmi steps closer to full control of Negri Bossi
HPS, Sacmi’s holding company, earlier this week secured the shares it needed to take it an important step closer to removing Negri Bossi from the Milan stock exchange. Last October HPS made a public bid for outstanding shares in the machine maker, which trade in the Star section of the Milan exchange for small and medium enterprises.
But by the time the acceptance period closed, it had fallen short of the 95% of all voting shares it needed to delist the company. Until a few days ago, it held 89.08%.
On Tuesday (3 Feb) however, HPS announced that it had acquired a further 1.07% away from the trading floor, taking it beyond 90%. It is now obliged to make an offer for all outstanding shares at a price established by Consob, the stock exchange’s governing body. If and when it has 95% of all shares, Negri Bossi’s remaining shareholders will be obliged to sell to HPS and Negri Bossi will be taken fully private.
Observers say that with such a small pool of shares remaining on the market, and with the prospects of the share price rising in the foreseeable future being limited, the “sell” option is compelling. HPS had offered €0.60 per share in October.
Negri Bossi had a very poor 2008, and Sacmi has repeatedly said that it needs to be much more integrated within the group for it to have any chance of a profitable future. This is something that cannot be done while Negri Bossi remains public.