AMS does not see 'sufficient basis' for continuing takeover talks with Osram

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Austria's AMS AG AMS.VI said on Tuesday it did not see "sufficient basis" for continuing its discussions with Osram Licht OSRn.DE to acquire the German technology company, one day after Osram made public the approach by AMS.

FILE PHOTO: Logo of lamp manufacturer Osram is pictured during official opening of the company 'World of light' showroom in Munich, Germany, October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo

Osram on Monday said AMS had approached it to discuss a non-binding takeover offer of 38.50 euros ($43.32) per share, sparking a potential bidding war for the German company.

“AMS requires opportunities to be strategically compelling and demonstrably value enhancing in order to consider pursuing a M&A transaction,” AMS, a technology company specializing in sensors and lighting, said in a statement. “However, following an evaluation of recent developments AMS does not see a sufficient basis for continuing these discussions with Osram.”

Osram, a technology group that builds microchips, digital lighting systems and sensors for the auto industry, earlier this month backed an approach from private equity firms Bain and Carlyle at 35 euros per share.

On Monday, Osram’s management had cast doubt on the prospects of the AMS bid.

“On the basis of the information as per today, the Managing Board of Osram Licht AG does regard the probability of this transaction materializing as rather low,” Osram said in a statement.

AMS had indicated that it could fund a bid thanks to a temporary 4.2 billion euro ($4.7 billion) bridging loan facility and plans for a capital increase.

Osram’s management said it saw “substantial uncertainties” around the ability of AMS, which has a market value of around 3 billion euros, to fund a takeover of Osram, which is currently valued at 3.2 billion euros.

“Currently, neither the bridge-loan nor the equity portion are supported by binding commitments; any other coverage of operational funding requirements has not been clarified,” Osram said.

Osram has sparked bidding interest because of its potential as a supplier for connected and autonomous cars.

A spokesman for the Bain, Carlyle bidder consortium declined to comment.

Osram shares closed up 0.1 percent at 33.14 euros in Frankfurt trading on Monday.

Reporting by Edward Taylor and Alexander Huebner; Additional reporting by Francois Murphy, Philip George George and Shubham Kalia; Editing by David Goodman and Leslie Adler