Dockwise says Boskalis's takeover offer is too low

AMSTERDAM Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:14pm EST

AMSTERDAM Nov 29 (Reuters) - Dutch maritime transport group Dockwise said dredging firm Boskalis's takeover offer of 17.20 euros per share, or a total of 682 million euros ($885 million), was too low and undervalued its business.

Boskalis, the world's biggest dredger, wants to buy Dockwise so it can expand in oil and gas services, and has already acquired a 33 percent stake in the firm.

HAL Investments, which owns about 30 percent of both Boskalis and Dockwise, has backed the deal, which was announced on Monday, and analysts said at the time the price appeared fair.

Dockwise said in a statement on Thursday it will meet with Boskalis soon, and has started to review the offer.

"Dockwise consulted with various large Dockwise shareholders, and several minority shareholders, together representing some 25 percent of the total share capital of Dockwise, have communicated their dissatisfaction with the current offer price," Dockwise said in its statement.

It said its board of directors sees various benefits from a merger but that the current offer undervalues the firm.

Boskalis's offer represented a 61 percent premium to the previous close.

($1 = 0.7705 euros) (Reporting by Sara Webb; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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