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Elliott may block Danisco deal as deadline looms

By Jess Halliday , 09-May-2011

Elliott International has increased its Danisco shareholding to 10.01 per cent and has not yet given any indication of tender plans, despite the Friday deadline for 80 per cent of shares to be tendered in order for the deal to go through.

DuPont initially offered DKK665 per share in January and required that 90 per cent of shares be tendered in order for the acquisition to proceed. However the deadline was extended twice as shareholders held out for a better price.

DuPont has also lowered the threshold for the sale to proceed to 80 per cent of shares. The final deadline – which cannot be extended again under Danish law – is set at May 13.

Elliott has been a vocal critic of the deal, and its higher shareholding could be an attempt to prevent the deal going though, even at the higher price. It gives Danisco a far lower margin to convince minority shareholders to tender their stakes.

Other major shareholders ATP and DSM, which held over 5 per cent each, have signalled their intention to tender at the higher price.

Final offer

DuPont chair and CEO Ellen Kullman said in a statement: “These terms represent our best and final offer. This increase in the offer price and reduced minimum tender requirement will allow shareholders to tender with confidence, given the premium value and certainty of this offer.”

Kullman had previously said DuPont would not up the price it was prepared to pay, calling the initial offer "full, fair, and firm”.

She has said the May 13 deadline is final, and if the new offer does not meet with shareholder agreement DuPont will end its offer and “continue executing [its] successful growth strategy, and explore other paths for achieving the benefits that Danisco would have offered us”.

The final offer deadline is also in keeping with the rules of the Danish financial market authority, Finanstilsynet, which allows for no more than three extensions.

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