May 9, 2018 / 4:47 PM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-China's Hisense makes bid valuing Slovenia's Gorenje at $347 mln

* Bid values the company at 293 mln euros

* Hisense wants at least 50 pct of Gorenje

* Gorenje said received three bids (Updates with takeover bid, details)

By Marja Novak

LJUBLJANA, May 9 (Reuters) - Chinese household appliances maker Hisense Electric has offered the best bid of 12 euros ($14.22) per share for Gorenje, the Slovenian appliances producer said on Wednesday after announcing it had received three offers.

Hisense, whose offer values Gorenje at about 293 million euros ($347 million), will announce a takeover bid for Gorenje within 15 days, the Slovenian firm said after the Ljubljana market closed.

The price was offered on condition Hisense acquired at least 50 percent of Gorenje’s shares.

Shares of Gorenje gained 6.6 percent in Wednesday to trade at 6.80 euros, before the news was released, while the blue-chip SBI index gained 0.4 percent.

Gorenje had said on Tuesday it received bids from three companies who had performed due diligence over past weeks. It did not reveal the names of the bidding companies.

Alongside the Hisense, the other two bidders were identified as the Chinese firms Haier and Hefei Meiling , according to reports by local newspapers Finance, Delo and Dnevnik.

The three firms were not immediately available to comment.

Gorenje, one of the largest Slovenian exporters, said last year it was seeking a strategic partner to increase cost efficiency and strengthen the brand.

The company reported in March that its 2017 net profit fell 84 percent due to cost pressures and strong competition.

Some of the biggest shareholders of Gorenje included the International Finance Corporation with 11.8 percent and Japanese Panasonic Corporation which holds 10.7 percent.

Panasonic performed due diligence in Gorenje in 2016 but decided against taking over the firm, saying increasing its stake in Gorenje would not be in line with its investment strategy.

$1 = 0.8422 euros $1 = 0.8437 euros Reporting by Marja Novak Editing by Edmund Blair

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