Semperit offers $197 mln for Malaysia's Latexx glove maker

KUALA LUMPUR Mon Oct 8, 2012 12:40am EDT

KUALA LUMPUR Oct 8 (Reuters) - Austrian rubber and plastic products maker Semperit Holding AG launched a $197.4 million cash offer for Malaysian medical glove maker Latexx Partners Bhd, securing an initial 47 percent stake from core shareholders.

The acquisition would give Sempirit access to Malaysia's glove industry, a world leader due to its access to rubber, and help it move towards its planned annual sales volume of 23 billion gloves by 2015, the company said.

"We gain a strong foothold in the Malaysian glove industry, which is the most important production hub globally," said Semperit Chief Executive Officer Thomas Fahnemann.

The global rubber glove industry, worth about $4.9 billion, has consolidated in recent years, from 65 industry players controlling 45 percent of world market share in 2000 to 40 players commanding some 63 percent in 2012, according to the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council.

Semperit offered 2.30 ringgit per share and 1.77 ringgit per warrant, valuing Latexx, the world's sixth largest medical gloves maker, at 512 million ringgit ($167.6 million) based on its current shares outstanding.

The offer price represented a 28.5 percent premium to Latexx's closing price on Friday, and was 37.7 percent above the three-month volume weighted average price of Latexx's shares, Semperit said.

Latexx's chairman and chief executive Low Bok Tek had agreed to sell his entire 29.3 percent stake in the firm and 35 million warrants, while Semperit had also secured a 9.1 percent stake in Latexx and 9.6 million warrants via put or call agreements with other investors, it said.

On a fully diluted basis after the potential exercise of all warrants, Semperit said it had secured a 47.3 percent stake in Latexx.

Latexx shares were suspended on Monday.

Semperit said it did not intend to maintain Latexx's listing in Malaysia. ($1 = 3.0545 Malaysian ringgits) (Reporting By Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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