SBB Trumps Castellum’s Bid for Entra as Bidding War Intensifies

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A bidding war for Norwegian office provider Entra ASA is heating up after SBB boosted its offer above Castellum AB’s competing proposal.

SBB raised its offer to 190 kroner a share, with 65% payable in cash and the remainder in a fixed value of Class B shares, which it aims to list on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 2021, it said in a statement.

Shares in Entra traded at 195.20 kroner as of 12:44 p.m. in Oslo, valuing it at about 35.6 billion kroner ($4.1 billion).

The bid comes after Castellum last week raised its cash and share offer to 185 kroner apiece. Entra’s board said on Monday that it was holding off with its recommendation on that offer as it was expecting other proposals and preferred to “safeguard optionality.”

Entra said it will continue to engage with relevant parties and facilitate any initiatives that could represent an attractive alternative to the strong position as an independent company. Its biggest shareholder, Folketrygdfondet, which holds 12%, has so far refused to sell, preventing any bidder from exceeding the 90% needed.

SBB is in advanced discussions with “a leading Norwegian institution with substantial real estate exposure” that would support its strategy, it said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, another Swedish property firm, Fastighets AB Balder, has been buying up shares in Entra and now holds about 15% of the company. Balder has said it has no interest in launching a takeover bid.

SBB will offer a mix and match facility, whereby each Entra shareholder may elect to receive as much cash consideration or as much share consideration as possible for the tendered shares.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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