* DuPont CEO says offer for Danisco "full, fair and firm"
* Danisco Q3 EBIT 518 mln Danish crowns vs forecast 468 mln
* Danisco raises 2011 EBIT and revenues guidance
(Adds detail, quotes, updates share price)
COPENHAGEN, March 17 U.S. chemicals group DuPont
(DD.N) quashed talk that Danisco's DCO.CO forecast-beating
results on Thursday would make it sweeten its bid for the Danish
food ingredients and enzymes producer.
Danisco agreed in January to be acquired by DuPont for 665
Danish crowns per share, equal to 33.4 billion Danish crowns
($6.3 billion), plus the assumption of $500 million in debt.
"Our tender offer remains full, fair, and firm," DuPont
chief executive Ellen Kullman said in an email statement
provided to Reuters.
"Today's results are consistent with our expectations based
on our due diligence," Kullman said. "Importantly, DuPont's
offer for Danisco also fully anticipated the company's long-term
outlook, which Danisco reaffirmed today."
Danisco said third-quarter profit was driven by a positive
development in all its divisions, and some analysts said the
strong result and upgraded outlook could make some Danisco
shareholders less inclined to accept DuPont's offer.
Danisco reiterated that DuPont's bid was recommended by its
board and said there had been no approach to Danisco by any
other potential bidder since the DuPont offer was announced.
Chief Executive Tom Knutzen told Reuters the strong quarter
did not change the "big picture" with regard to the DuPont
offer, but he added that it was a "very likely scenario" that
the offer period would be extended by four weeks.
Last month, DuPont extended its offer until April 1 after
Danisco shareholders with only 5 percent of the stock accepted
the bid. The deal requires acceptance by owners of at least 90
percent of the stock. [ID:nLDE71H0DN]
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) before special items
rose to 518 million crowns ($97 million) in November through
January from 339 million in the same quarter a year earlier.
The result beat estimates which had ranged between 437
million crowns and 505 million in a Reuters poll of banks and
brokerages, whose average forecast was 468 million.
"It is a very strong result," said Alm. Brand analyst
Michael Jorgensen said. "The good result could make people less
inclined to sell, and believe that Danisco itself can create
value in the longer run."
Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard said: "Danisco investors
could easily use the raised outlook in the negotiation process,
but one needs to look at the longer-term value rather than for
just one quarte."
"Danisco has for several quarters seen a positive
development, but DuPont's offer reflects value and improvements
for years ahead," Imsgard said.
Danisco bumped up guidance for its full-year EBIT before
biochemical project (BCP) costs to more than 2.4 billion crowns
from a previous forecast range of between 2.2 and 2.3 billion.
It said that would lead to a full-year EBIT margin (before
BCP) of around 15.5 percent, up from its earlier forecast of
around 14.5 percent. It nudged up 2010/11 revenue guidance to
15.5 billion crowns from 15.3 billion.
"We upgrade our EBIT outlook for the full year as a result
of a faster-than-expected recovery in Sweeteners and the
exceptional peak cycle performance in Enablers," Danisco said.
Enablers - the biggest division -- produces emulsifiers and
gums used to thicken a variety of foods such as sauces and
dressings, and accounted for 41 percent of group revenue in the
Danisco shares up slightly at 661 crowns at 1430 GMT,
underperforming the Copenhagen bourse .OMXC20 which rose 1.3
(Editing by David Cowell)
($1 = 5.323 Danish crowns)