Chicago, U.S., conglomerate John Bean Technologies Corporation (JBT) has made a takeover bid for Icelandic food processing company Marel, reports RÚV.
JBT submitted their takeover bid for Marel on November 23. The offer is non-binding and conditional on the approval of regulatory authorities. At least 90% of Marel’s shareholders need to approve the offer, which amounts to about 370 billion ISK (roughly $2.7 billion US).
Marel’s stock price increased by more than a quarter after the announcement of the takeover bid. Trading was temporarily suspended on the Iceland Stock Exchange, but the company’s share price had increased by a third when trading resumed. Marel’s shares have also seen a significant surge on the Dutch stock exchange where they are listed, almost 30%.
Eyrir Invest, owned by Marel’s former CEO and his father, has already given its blessing to the takeover bid.
An announcement on the Iceland Stock Exchange website states that JBT is prepared to pay 482 ISK per share. If successful, this would be the largest acquisition in Iceland’s history.
However, the offer is subject to the condition that the results of the due diligence investigation are satisfactory and JBT’s board approves the purchase. Marel’s shareholders would own 36% of JBT following the potential transaction.
There has been turbulence around Marel recently. The struggle reached a peak when Árni Oddur Þórðarson resigned as CEO of the company after Arion Banki took over his shares in Eyrir Invest, the investment company of Árni Oddur and his father. Eyrir Invest has been one of the largest owners of Marel.
Morgunblaðið reported at the end of October that foreign entities were interested in owning a majority of Marel or the company as a whole. Heimildin reports that Árni Oddur and his father believe that Arion Banki was trying to secure control of Marel by a fishing and fish processing company Samherji and investment company Stoðir.
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