Tamedia ups bid in PubliGroupe takeover battle

ZURICH Tue May 27, 2014 5:12am EDT

ZURICH May 27 (Reuters) - Swiss media company Tamedia said on Tuesday it had raised its offer to buy PubliGroupe to 190 Swiss francs per share from 150 per share, but its bid still fell short of a recent offer from Swisscom.

Tamedia and Swiss national telecoms provider Swisscom are both keen to gain control of PubliGroupe's online directory platforms as the market for digital advertising grows.

The latest offer from Tamedia, already the largest shareholder in PubliGroupe with a 17.6 percent stake, would value the advertising group at around 445 million francs ($497.68 million).

However, it is still out-matched by the 200 francs per share offered by Swisscom earlier this month, which would value the company at 468 million francs.

Shares in PubliGroupe have surged by around two thirds since the middle of April when Tamedia made its first bid of 150 francs per share, and are now trading above both current offer prices. They closed on Monday at 211.40 francs, valuing the company at around 494 million francs.

Tamedia said the tender period would start on June 18 and finish on July 15 but could be extended to July 24 to match Swisscom's timeframe. The group also said it could change its bid up to five days before the extended close time. ($1 = 0.8942 Swiss Francs) (Reporting by Joshua Franklin; editing by Keiron Henderson)