UPDATE 1-Hardinge asks shareholders to reject Romi's offer

Mon Apr 5, 2010 8:56am EDT

* Terms offer grossly inadequate, opportunistic

* Says offer below historical valuations

April 5 (Reuters) - Hardinge Inc (HDNG.O), a maker of precision metal-cutting tools, said its board recommended shareholders to reject the $90 million unsolicited offer by Brazilian rival Industrias Romi SA (ROMI3.SA) calling it "grossly inadequate and opportunistic."

Last month, Hardinge had adopted a poison pill with a 20 percent trigger and advised shareholders to defer any action in response to machine tool maker Romi's $8.00 a share tender offer.

Poison pill is a tactic adopted by companies to thwart hostile takeovers.

Romi's offer fails to reflect the value of Hardinge's significant industry position, global market presence, and future growth prospects, the company said in a statement.

Hardinge also said the offer values the company at a price below historical valuations and a double digit stock price for its shares is attainable in the medium term if the machine tool industry rebounds.

Romi offered to buy Hardinge for $8.00 per share in February, saying it had been rebuffed by the U.S. company's management. [ID:SGE6130JO]

Shares of Hardinge closed at $9.03 Friday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Divya Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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