July 29, 2019 / 5:26 PM / 21 days ago

Top Metro investors to join forces after rejecting takeover offer

FILE PHOTO: German retailer Metro AG sign is seen on the steps of their headquarters in Duesseldorf, Germany March 02, 2018. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Two major shareholders in Metro (B4B.DE) said on Monday they planned to join forces by pooling their interests and voting rights as they seek to help fend off a takeover bid for the German retailer.

The investors Meridian Foundation and Beisheim Group, which hold a combined 20.56% of Metro’s ordinary shares, both rejected a 5.8 billion euros ($6.6 billion) takeover offer for Metro by EP Global Commerce as “inappropriate”.

Metro - which has previously said the EP Global commerce offer substantially undervalues it - said it took note of the announcement from Meridian and Beisheim.

The two shareholders said their aim was to act in concert to exert their influence. They said they also planned to gradually increase their shareholding when buying opportunities arose.

EP Global Commerce, an acquisition vehicle owned by Czech and Slovak investors, made the takeover offer for Metro, in June.

Reporting by Tom Sims in Frankfurt and Matthias Inverardi in Duesseldorf; editing by David Evans and Deepa Babington

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