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Montedison spurns Fiat-Edf offer, calls takeover "hostile"
( 2001-07-05 12:03 ) (7 )

The board of Italian industrial group Montedison formally declared its opposition to the takeover bid by a Fiat-led consortium, describing the offer as hostile.

The board said that the offer from Italenergia, a consortium led by Fiat and France's Electricite de France (EDF) state-owned utility, was inadequate and said it would not call a shareholders' meeting as Italenergia had requested.

The Italenergia consortium has already snatched more than 50 percent control of the Montedison.

Italenergia had on Tuesday demanded a shareholders meeting be called "to replace members of the board," as it seeks to change the management put in place by the former key shareholder, investment bank Mediobanca.

But the Montedison board said that the documentation requesting a shareholders meeting was incomplete and refused to call the assembly.

Italenergia said Tuesday it held 52.09 percent of the Montedison holding company. It is also seeking full control of the Montedison electricity subsidiary Edison.

Italenergia offered about 2.82 euros a share for the remaining capital of Montedison. The offer valued Montedison's ordinary share capital at a total 4.92 billion euros (US$4.2 billion).

Several Italian newspapers said that Mediobanca was now considering an alliance with Italian bank Unicredito Italiano, either through a public takeover bid or friendly share swap.

The daily La Stampa said Unicredito chief executive Alessandro Profumo held a long meeting Tuesday with his Mediobanca opposite number, Vincenzo Maranghi, without specifying the content of their talks.

Another daily, La Repubblica, said that Mediobanca was seeking to shield itself against further attacks by Fiat and its allies following the Montedison raid.

None of the papers named their source. 



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