Hella Suitors Near Last Round of $9 Billion Battle
(Bloomberg) -- At least three suitors are competing in the final bidding for a majority stake in German automotive supplier Hella GmbH, people with knowledge of the matter said.
German car-parts maker Mahle GmbH and French rivals Faurecia SE and Cie Plastic Omnium SA are considering binding offers for Hella, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Hella’s founding Hueck family has asked for final bids by Aug. 11 and could make a decision on a winner in the following days, according to the people.
Any deal could value Hella at as much as 8 billion euros ($9.4 billion), equivalent to more than 70 euros a share, the people said. That could make it the second-largest takeover in Germany this year, behind Vonovia SE’s pursuit of real estate rival Deutsche Wohnen SE, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Shares of Hella fell 0.3% at 3:29 p.m. Tuesday in Frankfurt, erasing some of Monday’s 11% gain and giving the company a market value of 7.4 billion euros.
“We recommend Hella shareholders to keep their stock for now and possibly even increase as we expect more upside ahead,” Kepler Cheuvreux’s arbitrage sales desk wrote in a note. “We remain confident that a deal will materialize as there are multiple bidders lining up.”
Faurecia and Plastic Omnium, which both have smaller market values than Hella, are both planning capital increases to fund the potential acquisition if successful, the people said. Faurecia rose as much as 2.8% in Paris trading Tuesday, while Plastic Omnium gained as much as 0.9%.
The Hueck family owns about 60% of Lippstadt-based Hella, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. There’s no certainty the suitors will submit final offers, and other bidders could still emerge, the people said.
Representatives for Hella, Mahle and Plastic Omnium declined to comment, while a spokesperson for Faurecia didn’t respond to a request for comment.
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