July 1, 2020 / 5:13 AM / 11 days ago

Activist investor Knight Vinke and allies to battle Alpiq -FuW

ZURICH, July 1 (Reuters) - Activist investor Knight Vinke has lined up other shareholders to sue Swiss electricity group Alpiq Holding over its payout to minority shareholders following a takeover, Chief Executive Eric Knight told a newspaper.

“Yes, we will sue Alpiq,” Knight told Finanz und Wirtschaft. “We are well prepared, our strategy is ready, we have the lawyers. Now we we have two months to file the suit.”

The Credit Suisse-managed CSA Energy Infrastructure Switzerland fund’s takeover bid offered shareholders 70 Swiss francs ($73.91) for each Alpiq share, which Knight said significantly undervalued the group’s Swiss hydropower assets.

Knight said his company had an Alpiq stake of between 1% and 3% and that most other minority shareholders supported it. “It seems we have almost 100% of the free float on our side,” he said.

Alpiq has defended its plan. The paper quoted a company spokeswoman as saying there were no indications that the offer price should be any higher or lower and that the board of directors carefully reviewed all the issues before it. ($1=0.9471 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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