Bidding war for Stork

Icelandic food processing equipment company Marel is preparing a bid for the Stork Group as part of a consortium involving one or more private equity funds.

However it is reported that Marel will only make a rival bid for Stork if the Dutch industrial components company refuses to sell its Food Divisions unit to Marel.

If the consortium takes over Stork, Marel would take control of the Food Systems unit, while the private equity funds would gain the Aerospace and Technical Services division, the FD reported.

Stork has already agreed to a €47 per share, €1.55bn takeover from UK private equity firm Candover Investments, but Marel has since increased its stake in Stork to 16.9%, sparking speculation of a rival takeover bid.

London Acquisition, a holding company controlled by funds managed and advised by Candover intends to make a recommeneded cash offer of €47 per ordinary share in Stork.

Centaurus and Paulson, two hedge funds holding 33% of Stork, have said they would back the offer for Candover. ABN AMRO is advising Stork and Goldman Sachs is advising Candover.

After months of uncertainty for the company – which included the acquisition and break up of the group by hedge funds – Candover has promised that there will be no direct negative consequences for the existing employment level of Stork as a result of the intended offer.