OSLO Jan 16 A shareholder in Norwegian fish
oils maker Pronova said it remained unimpressed by
BASF's sweetened bid, showing the German group still
has obstacles to surmount for its offer to succeed.
"I'd be surprised if we end up accepting it," Alexandra
Morris, a fund manager with Odin Forvaltning, which holds 4.7
percent in the Norwegian target, told Reuters.
BASF, the world's largest chemicals maker, on Tuesday lifted
its offer for Pronova to 13.50 Norwegian crowns ($2.43) per
share after its initial 12.50 crown offer failed to attract
Morris, who said Odin had not yet finally decided whether it
would tender its shares in favour of the offer by the Friday
1530 GMT deadline, may play a pivotal role, as BASF has made its
bid conditional on receiving at least 90 percent shareholder
"I've talked to other shareholders and there are many that
are still unhappy with this bid. But clearly it's better than
12.50," she said.
"We encourage all minority shareholders to sit on their
shares, because this is probably not the last thing we heard
from them. BASF may well end up accepting less than 90 percent,"
she added, defying BASF's pledge on Tuesday that 13.50 crowns
was its "last, best and final offer".
Prior to BASF's mark-up, it had been offered just short of
70 percent of its target's shares. That includes Herkules
Private Equity Fund - which holds 50 percent in Pronova and is
bound by an agreement to sell for 12.50 crowns per share.
BASF wants to boost its nutrition business and capitalise on
the Norwegian firm's expertise in the extraction of omega-3
fatty acids from fish oil for use in drugs and food supplements.
Pronova shares fell 3 percent to 12.85 crowns, well below
the 13.50 crown offer price, indicating scepticism that holdout
shareholders will be rewarded with a higher bid.
($1 = 5.5652 Norwegian krones)
(Reporting by Joachim Dagenborg; Writing by Ludwig Burger;
Editing by David Holmes)