November 23, 2019 / 11:41 AM / 21 days ago

AMS shareholder Temasek backs plans for Osram takeover

FILE PHOTO: The logo of German lighting manufacturer Osram is illuminated at the company's headquarters in Munich, Germany, September 16, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Singapore’s state investor Temasek, the biggest shareholder in Austria’s AMS (AMS.VI), backs the sensor maker’s planned $5 billion takeover of German lighting group Osram (OSRn.DE), the fund’s managing director told a magazine on Saturday.

“We think the coming together of AMS with Osram is sensible, especially in the field of opto-electronics,” Temasek’s Uwe Krueger was quoted as saying by German weekly Euro am Sonntag.

However, he added that he would not get involved in business decisions, a stance he had also made clear to the IG Metall Union, which had asked Temasek to speak out against the plans.

AMS’ bid to create a global leader in sensors and lights stumbled last month when it fell short of the necessary shareholder backing. Since then AMS has offered to protect jobs in Germany and lowered the acceptance threshold to try to get the deal over the line.

Osram shareholders have until Dec. 5 to accept the offer.

Krueger also told Euro am Sonntag he stood by Temasek’s investment in German chemicals giant Bayer (BAYGn.DE), even though litigation over glyphosate-based weed-killer, which tens of thousands of plaintiffs blame for cancer, will drag on.

“But that does not change anything in terms of the basic strategy. We remain convinced by Bayer’s operating business,” he added.

Bayer, which said last month the number of U.S plaintiffs had more than doubled since July, argues that regulators and extensive research have found glyphosate to be safe.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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