Berendsen rejects $2.6 bn offer by French rival Elis

LONDON: British laundry services group Berendsen rejected on Thursday a revised, £2 billion ($2.6 billion) offer by French peer Elis, saying it did not reflect value being added by the UK firm’s expansion and modernisation plans.
Berendsen, which called the Elis approach “opportunistic”, said it was investing £450 million to expand in Europe and to replace plant and machinery in Britain.
“The board of Berendsen unanimously concluded that the revised proposal very significantly undervalues Berendsen and its prospects,” it said in a statement, adding it did not see a basis for further discussion.
Elis said it was offering 440 pence in cash and 0.426 new Elis shares for each Berendsen share, valuing the British firm at about £2.05 billion.
It said this valued each Berendsen share at £11.73, after an April offer had valued each share at £11.00. “This looks an attractive pricing for the group,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Andrew Brooke said, citing concerns about Berendsen’s capital expenditure plans and its ability to turn around its operations in Britain.— AFP