ICS Magazine

Forbo says major shareholder opposition, CEO resignation make offer unlikely

February 22, 2005
ZURICH (AFX) - Forbo Holding AG said that the probability that an offer will be made for the Swiss flooring, adhesives, and beltings company is now 'questionable' due to opposition and buying of shares by major shareholder Michael Pieper, and the resignation of chief executive This Schneider.

This is in spite of indications that one of the three bidders currently looking at the company's books intends to submit an offer of 260 sfr per share by Friday, and indications that competing offers might follow.

Pieper has called for an immediate termination of the bidding process for the company, and Scheider resigned on Feb 17 due to his opposition to the bidding process, Forbo said in a statement.

Pieper now holds more than 25 pct in the company together with the Franke Group, and is calling for the registration of these shares in the shareholder register.

In November private equity group CVC Capital Partners made a 330 sfr per share offer for Forbo, which the company rejected. CVC then raised its offer to 350-370 sfr, corresponding to 246.53-256.53 sfr per share following the recent capital increase, and the company agreed to it and others conducting due diligence on its books, and set a Feb 25 deadline for deciding on an offer.

The company said today that the Feb 25 deadline still stands.