DSM has been building its stake in Danisco since 2007 by buying stock on the Copenhagen stock exchange.
While acknowledging the profit it would make due to DuPont’s offer – which at €4.9bn represents a 90 per cent premium over the Danisco share value 12 months ago, and 20 per cent over Friday’s Copenhgaen closing price, DSM baulked at formally accepting the bid, which has been approved by Danisco's board but needs to be confirmed by its shareholders.
DSM said it was not considering a competitive bid, and would not confirm if it was one of the companies that were bidding for Danisco right up until the very last moment when Danisco accepted the DuPont offer.
Some analysts pointed to the fact DSM was itself a takeover target before its purchase of Martek Biosciences last month, with DuPont rumoured to have eyed the life sciences company as a potential acquisition target.
DSM signalled predatory ambitions when it paid €829m for omega-3 player Martek, with ratings agencies sizing the Dutch company’s war chest for further acquisitions at several times that.
That acquisition – if accepted as it is expected to be – represented a multiple of 8.5 times the EBITDA of Martek compared to 12.8 times EBITDA for the DuPont-Danisco deal.
Danisco sells up
Of his company’s decision to sell, Jørgen Tandrup, chairman of the board of directors at Danisco, said in a statement: “We believe this offer represents attractive value for Danisco shareholders at a time when the share price is at an all-time high, and that it is in the best interest of the business and our employees.
“There will be substantial opportunities as part of a larger group and DuPont will bring significant advantages to Danisco’s strategy and further development. DuPont and Danisco make a powerful combination and will benefit from each others’ complementary strengths and skills.”