German energy company Uniper has rejected a €8.05bn takeover offer from Finnish state-controlled utility Fortum saying that the amount undervalues the company.
Uniper also stated that it is not clear about Fortum intentions should a transaction take place, particularly about its independence post acquisition.
However, Uniper said that it was willing to enter into discussions with the Finnish firm in a bid to get a higher offer than the current offer price of €21.31 per share. The German company also wants to get clear commitments from Fortum regarding its future if it agrees for the takeover.
As of now, the management board and supervisory board of Uniper had advised the company’s shareholders not to accept the offer from the Finnish firm. Both the boards opined that Fortum’s offer is not in the best interest of the company, its shareholders, employees, and other stakeholders.
Uniper CEO Klaus Schäfer said: “Fortum’s offer is unacceptable as it does not reflect Uniper’s true value. In addition, there is no recognizable contribution to a better development perspective for Uniper.
“The offer document also does not clearly state what Fortum’s true intentions are. Now begins the time for discussions. We will find out if Fortum is prepared to follow up its public statements with binding commitments.”
Uniper was established in 2016 after the separation of the fossil fuel business E.ON into a new entity. In September 2016, E.ON divested 53.35% stake in Uniper to shareholders through a spin-off to get the new entity listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange.
Fortum reacting to the latest rejection from Uniper has revealed that the takeover offer of €8.05bn is the best it could offer.
Fortum president and CEO Pekka Lundmark said: “We are convinced that our offer represents attractive value to Uniper’s shareholders offering 36% premium to the price prior to intensified bid speculation, and 120% premium to the initial trading price post the spin off.”
“As we have stated in the past, this is our best and final offer. We are pleased that Uniper has accepted our offer to enter into discussions with us.”
Image: Fortum headquarters in Espoo, Keilaniemi, Finland. Photo: courtesy of Fortum Keilaniemi.