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DuPont says $6.4-billion Danisco takeover in the bag Add to ...

U.S. chemicals group DuPont has won its takeover battle for Danisco, with shareholders owning 92.2 per cent of the Danish food ingredients company accepting its $6.4 billion offer, it said on Monday.

The 700 Danish crowns ($132.6 U.S.) a share offer expired on Friday at 2100 GMT.

All conditions for completing the offer have now been fulfilled, DuPont said in a statement.

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“We are delighted that the tender has been successful and we can move on to the process of integrating Danisco into DuPont,” DuPont’s chief executive officer, Ellen Kullman, said in a statement.

DuPont bought Danisco as part of a bigger push into the food technology business.

“This combination will create an industry leader in industrial biosciences and nutrition and health,” Ms. Kullman said.

DuPont raised its cash offer last month to 700 crowns from 665 and lowered the level of acceptances that it required of Danisco shareholders to 80 percent from 90 percent after meeting resistance to the orginal offer made in January.

“With an acceptance of slightly over 92 percent, this is the clearest possible conclusion to the bid process you could get,” Danisco’s CEO Tom Knutzen told Reuters.

“We will soon become a fully owned part of DuPont because this will trigger a squeeze-out and delisting of Danisco,” Mr. Knutzen said.

DuPont said settlement of valid acceptances would take place on May 19 and it would “as soon as possible” initiate a compulsory redemption of all remaining shares in Danisco and apply for the shares to be delisted from Nasdaq OMX Copenhagen.

Mr. Knutzen said that the squeeze-out and delisting would probably take place in June after one final extraordinary general meeting of Danisco shareholders.

Danisco’s board recommended the original offer to shareholders when it was announced in January only to meet resistance from a number of shareholders, including several hedge funds, who said the price was too low.

DuPont extended the initial bid period twice while seeking regulatory approvals but acceptance levels remained stubbornly low, causing it to raise its offer at the end of April.

A big uncertainty was what U.S. hedge fund group Elliott would do, it having built up a 10.02-per-cent stake in Danisco and rejected the initial offer of 665 crowns per share.

Danisco’s shares, which had been suspended from trading before the market opened on Monday, were up 1.2 percent at 701 crowns by 1038 GMT in heavy volume.

“It is positive for Danisco that the deal has now gone through,” said analyst at Nykredit Markets Klaus Kehl. “The process had dragged out, and it is good that we now have a conclusion.”

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