Suitors value Hella at about $8 billion as decision looms

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Hella, a global developer and manufacturer for the automotive industry, is seen at the headquarters of Hella in Lippstadt, Germany, May 12, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

MUNICH/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Hella’s suitors have submitted binding bids that value the German automotive lighting group at roughly 7 billion euros ($8 billion), two people familiar with the matter said, with a decision on the sale to be made over the weekend.

French car parts suppliers Faurecia and Cie Plastic Omnium, as well as Germany’s Mahle, all submitted bids at around 60 euros per share on Wednesday, the people said.

The stock, which closed at 64.50 euros on Wednesday, fell as much as 5.4% to 61 euros on Thursday’s news of the offers. At 1252 GMT, they traded 2.5% lower at 62.88 euros apiece.

Hella’s founding family, which is seeking a buyer for its 60% stake, is working with investment bank Rothschild on the transaction, sources told Reuters earlier this week.

Under German takeover rules, buying a 60% stake would trigger a takeover bid for the remaining shares.

Hella said on Thursday it had finalised negotiations with interested buyers, adding all were acceptable and protected the interests of the company and its stakeholders.

“The pool [founding family] shareholders will decide this weekend on a sale of the pool shares (which represent 60% of the share capital),” Hella said, not naming the bidders or providing any detail on their offers.

($1 = 0.8524 euros)

Reporting by Alexander Huebner and Christoph Steitz; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Madeline Chambers and Mark Potter