Aliaxis Makes $2 Billion Play for Uponor
Belgium-based Aliaxis today made an unsolicited €1.82 billion ($2 billion) offer to buy rival Finnish company Uponor with the aim of forming a leading global water-management group, as reported by several media outlets. The news sent Uponor shares soaring 43%.
In an announcement carried by Businesswire, Aliaxis said the combination “would create a global leader in water management solutions with a shared European heritage, complementary geographic and product fit, and a strategy with sustainability at its core, creating further value for its employees, customers, and other stakeholders.”
Aliaxis also noted that the proposed combination would help shield Uponor from “significant headwinds, including the ongoing downturn in the residential construction markets in Europe and the United States.” In its strategic rationale of the potential offer, Aliaxis said that “Uponor is at a crossroads as a medium-sized player that cannot fully leverage the value of its assets due to the lack of scale.”
Headquartered in Brussels, Aliaxis operates in more than 40 countries and has approximately 15,000 employees. Its pipe and fitting systems are widely used in the building, infrastructure, industrial, and agricultural sectors.
Aliaxis, which owns just over 5% of Uponor, said it had initially approached the Finnish group regarding an offer last year, but had failed to reach a deal, reported Reuters.
In a statement posted on its website, Uponor said that its board of directors, together with its advisors, “will assess the new non-binding intention to make an offer and whether it is in the best interest of shareholders of the company. At this time, Uponor has made no decisions in respect of the potential offer.”
Reuters reported, however, that Uponor’s largest shareholder, Oras Invest, which holds a 25.7% stake, said it would not accept the contemplated offer, saying it did “not reflect the full value potential” of the group.
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