Battle for Sweden's Cision heats up as Meltwater makes offer

STOCKHOLM, April 3 Thu Apr 3, 2014 4:49am EDT

STOCKHOLM, April 3 (Reuters) - U.S.-based PR software and services firm Meltwater announced an 895 million Swedish crown ($138 million) cash bid for Swedish peer Cision on Thursday, topping an offer by private equity-controlled Blue Canyon Holdings.

Meltwater bid 60 crowns per share for Cision, 9 percent higher than the rival offer from Blue Canyon.

Cision shares, which were already trading above that level in anticipation of a new bid, fell 1.6 percent to 60.50 crowns at 0835 GMT.

"A combination of Meltwater and Cision would create a global leader in the PR services and media monitoring industry," Meltwater said in a statement, adding a merger and the synergies it creates would enable significant investments in product development and sales organisation.

Meltwater said the bid was conditional on it becoming owner of at least 80 percent of Cision shares.

Meltwater, which already owns 15.3 percent of Cision, said it had secured committed financing for the bid from Swedish private equity firm Altor.

Blue Canyon, controlled by U.S. based private equity firm CTGR, announced a 52 crowns per share bid in February, which was recommended by Cision's board, and subsequently raised to 55.10 crowns.

Cision has been under pressure, with problems in the United States and a weaker general market pushing its shares down 40 percent in the twelve months ahead of Blue Canyon's initial bid.

Meltwater said the acceptance period for its bid was expected to run from April 22 to May 22.

($1 = 6.4791 Swedish Crowns) (Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; Editing by Mark Potter)

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