Nippon Sheet Shares Fall After Pilkington Rejects Bid

Nippon Sheet Glass Co. shares had the biggest one-day drop in 19 months after Pilkington Plc, the world's largest maker of car windshields, rejected a third takeover offer, raising concern the bid will fail.

The U.K. company yesterday rejected an increased 2.07 billion pounds ($3.65 billion) bid, citing conditions attached to Nippon Sheet's 158 pence-a-share proposal, including incomplete financing arrangements, the St. Helens, northwest England-based company said in a statement.

``Some investors are worried Nippon Sheet may give up the buyout deal,'' said Yusuke Ando, an analyst with Daiwa Institute of Research. ``The takeover plan is positive for the company, and giving it up would disappoint investors.''

Tokyo-based Nippon Sheet Glass, which is Pilkington's biggest shareholder with 20 percent of the stock, is considering its next step, said spokesman Kazumitsu Fujii. The company has not talked to other Pilkington shareholders, he said.

``Our stance is that we have not made any official buyout proposal to Pilkington shareholders,'' Fujii said. ``The proposals we have presented to Pilkington's management were a sounding-out, and not an official proposal. At present, we have no talks under way with Pilkington, and have not yet decided to resume talks with them, or not.''

Pilkington's other main shareholders include Marathon Asset Management LLP which holds 6.4 percent, Legal & General Investment Management with 3.5 percent, Barclays Plc with 3.1 percent, and Standard Life Investments with 3.0 percent, according to Bloomberg data.

600450 Nippon Sheet Shares Fall After Pilkington Rejects Bid
Date: 20 December 2005

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