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By Ana Mano
SAO PAULO, Oct 27 (Reuters) - U.S.-based AGCO Corp, an agricultural equipment maker, is still evaluating the acquisition of Brazilian silo maker Kepler Weber SA, around nine months after revealing plans to launch a tender offer for all the outstanding shares, a senior executive said on Friday.
Greg Peterson, AGCO’s head of investor relations, told Reuters the company has maintained its agreement to acquire the stakes of Kepler Weber’s two largest shareholders, which was announced in February.
Asked whether there was a possibility the tender offer wold be withdrawn, he said it was “not fair to jump to conclusions.”
AGCO reached a binding agreement with the two largest shareholders of Kepler Weber - state-run pension fund PREVI and the investment arm of state-owned Banco do Brasil - to acquire their stakes totaling about 35 percent of outstanding stock.
The agreement is conditional on regulatory approval and on the purchase of an additional stake, which combined with the shareholdings of PREVI and Banco do Brasil’s investment arm would total at least 65 percent, AGCO said.
“We have not initiated the formal tender process with the remaining shareholders,” Peterson said, adding that only informal talks had taken place until now. “We’re still evaluating the Kepler Weber acquisition including their current financial results.”
A spokeswoman for Kepler declined to comment.
PREVI and Banco do Brasil’s investment arm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shares of Kepler were 0.4 percent higher in early afternoon trading.
Brazilian competition watchdog Cade cleared the agreement between AGCO and Kepler Weber’s two largest shareholders in July.
AGCO offered 22 reais per share of Kepler Weber, valuing it at about $185 million when the deal was announced. The offer represented a 25.7 percent premium to the closing price of Kepler shares on Feb. 9. (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)