In a late announcement to the London stock exchange the Japanese group said there is no assurance a firm offer will be made.Pilkington, which has already rejected approaches worth 150 pence and 155 pence per share, said today the improved 158 pence proposal was still too low for the board to recommend.Nippon said it was invited to conduct high level due diligence on Pilkington after making an initial approach in November, and that it has held high level meetings with senior management."Nippon Sheet Glass regrets that Pilkington's Board has rejected its revised proposal, and is currently reviewing its position," the company said.
Pilkington shares closed at 144.5 pence today, valuing the company at 2 bln stg.
Most analysts have been looking for a takeout price of between 170-175 pence a share. Some have even suggested that 180 pence would be required, which would value Pilkington at about 2.37 bln stg.
It is not yet clear whether the Japanese glassmaker will walk away or consider going hostile, but some observers reckon that given the relatively small uplifts in its indicative approaches to Pilkington so far, there is little chance of Nippon upping its offer to much more than what has already been tabled.
Nippon Sheet Glass already owns a 20 pct stake in the British group.