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Metro Says New Takeover Offer Undervalues Company

German wholesaler Metro said that the new offer from EP Global Commerce to increase their stake in the company substantially undervalued the German wholesaler.

Shares in German wholesaler Metro jumped more than 6% on Monday after EP Global Commerce, an acquisition vehicle owned by Czech and Slovak investors, launched a new offer to increase their stake in the company.

The shares were trading up 7.43% at €8.93 at 09:04 GMT.

'The management board of Metro strongly believes that the offer substantially undervalues the company,' Metro said in a statement, adding it advised shareholders not to take any action until it comments more comprehensively.

EP Global Commerce, which already indirectly owns 29.99% percent of the ordinary shares and voting rights in Metro, said in a statement on Sunday it would offer €8.48 per ordinary share and some €8.87 per preference share.

EP Global Commerce did not set a minimum acceptance threshold and said it does not expect to hold more than 50% of the voting rights following settlement of the offer.

The firm, co-owned by Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky and Slovak partner Patrik Tkac, failed last year with a €5.8 billion ($6.88 billion) takeover bid for Metro after opposition from Meridian Stiftung and Beisheim Holding, which together hold a 23% stake.

'Creeping Takeover Approach'

Jefferies analyst James Grzinic said he expected Meridian and Beisheim to reject the new offer, given its discount to last year's conditions, but expects EP Global Commerce to still make a 'creeping takeover approach'.

"We expect Metro to trade well above the new takeover conditions in anticipation of EPGC buying shares in the open market," Grzinic wrote.

Representatives for the Meridian and Beisheim consortium were not immediately available for comment.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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