December 15, 2015 / 12:02 AM / 3 years ago

Italy's Stevanato Group offers to buy Balda for 80 million euros

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Italy’s Stevanato Group has made an 80 million euros ($88 million) bid to take over the operational business of medical injection molder Balda BAFG.DE, more than an offer from autosupplier Heitkamp & Thumann, Balda said on Monday.

Stevanato Group’s 11th hour offer fuels an acrimonious takeover battle. Only two weeks ago, Balda shareholders approved on a preliminary basis Heitkamp’s 74 million euro bid because it was higher than another one from private equity firm Paragon Partners.

Stevanato, a producer of insulin cartridges and glass primary packaging for the pharmaceutical sector, had expressed its interest shortly before the shareholders meeting and had been given a deadline until Dec. 14 to come up with a binding offer.

Balda said its management and supervisory board will immediately review the offer.

Should they find it to be more attractive, they will call for an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting to vote, probably in late January.

“It is in the shareholders’ interest to accept the best offer,” a Balda spokesman said.

The company was once known for producing plastic shells for mobile phones. Nowadays it has become an attractive target because of its medical business. Balda posted a 13 million euros loss on sales of 85 million euros in its financial year 2014-15.

Padua-based Stevanato posted sales of 285 million euros in 2014 and has operations in Italy, Denmark, Slovakia, the United States, Mexico and China.

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; editing by Grant McCool

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