Saint-Gobain set to raise BPB bid to 750-760p to secure recommendation

Saint-Gobain SA, the French building materials group, is this weekend making a last-ditch approach to the board of BPB PLC in an effort to seal an agreed 3.8 bln stg takeover of the British plasterboard company, both The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph reported.

The Sunday Times said Saint-Gobain will tell Richard Cousins, BPB's chief executive, that it is prepared to raise its offer by more than 5 pct from 720 pence to about 760 pence on the condition that it can secure the board's recommendation.

Saint-Gobain has until Friday (Nov 18) to raise its offer for the last time. It needs to win over at least 50.1 pct of BPB's investors.

Sources told AFX News today that the Saint-Gobain management is 'keen' to get a recommendation and that the board is making 'every effort' to get in touch with BPB.

A bid of around 750-760 pence a share would value BPB at about 3.8 bln stg, as against the current 720 pence a share offer.

So far, BPB has vigorously rejected Saint-Gobain's advances, but a higher offer would put pressure on BPB as around 20 pct the stock is held by hedge funds, who could sell out and make a quick profit. Neither company was immediately available for comment this afternoon.

600450 Saint-Gobain set to raise BPB bid to 750-760p to secure recommendation
Date: 14 November 2005
Source: Forbes

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