UPDATE 2-Danisco board endorses raised $6.64 bln DuPont bid
* Board unanimously recommends DuPont's raised 700-crown bid
* Recommends shareholders accept by May 13 deadline
* New offer is final, board notes
* Fund managers welcome new price
(Recasts, adds details, quotes, share price)
COPENHAGEN, May 2 (Reuters) - Denmark's Danisco DCO.CO urged shareholders to accept a higher takeover bid from U.S. chemicals group DuPont (DD.N) on Monday as fund managers welcomed the "decent offer" and said it would likely succeed.
DuPont raised its offer for the Danish food ingredients and enzymes producer by 5 percent to 700 Danish crowns ($139) per share from 665, making its cash offer worth $6.64 billion.
The sweetened bid was announced late on Friday in an attempt to persuade reluctant Danisco shareholders to accept a deal first announced in January [ID:nLDE73S1KP] and endorsed then too by the Danisco board.
Danisco's board told shareholders on Monday to accept the raised offer, noting it would be the final bid.
"The board confirms that it believes that the increased offer price represents compelling value for the shareholders of Danisco and reiterates its unanimous recommendation to shareholders to accept the offer before May 13, 2011, when the offer period expires," Danisco said in a statement.
DuPont also lowered the acceptance level that it requires of Danisco shareholders to 80 percent from 90 percent and extended the offer period to May 13.
Danisco shares were up 4.3 percent at 697 crowns by 0956 GMT after earlier rising to an all-time high of 698.
SEB Asset Management, which has about 2 percent of Danisco's stock under management and had rejected the initial bid of 665 crowns, said it would accept the new offer.
"We are going to sell our shares to DuPont at the current bid," SEB Asset Management's head of Danish equity investments Niels Andersen told Reuters.
"The bid is not fantastic but it is a fair price," Andersen said. "We think DuPont will succeed in getting the 80 percent at the 700-crown level.
LD Invest, which manages 6 billion Danish crowns ($1.19 billion) worth of stock for 12 Danish institutional investors who had been reluctant to take the earlier offer, said investors should accept the new offer.
"We think it is a decent offer, and I think they will get through with the 80 percent (acceptance) at least," LD Invest's chief portfolio manager Keld Henriksen told Reuters.
"I don't see any reason why people should not accept this offer," Henriksen said.
Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard said in a note to clients: "We see the price of 700 crowns per share as very attractive for Danisco shareholders. We recommend that investors accept the new offer."
Imsgard added it was important Danisco shareholders realise the 700-crown bid was final.
Jyske Bank trader Martin Munk told Reuters: "We now believe that the deal will go through... There is ... a more positive tone coming from some of the larger shareholders (and) the level at which the share now trades shows that the market has come to terms with the bid going through."
(Editing by Sophie Walker)