Cooper Not Willing to Raise Laird Takeover to 220 Pence, Seeks Compromise

Laird Plc (LRD), the biggest maker of electronic shields for laptops and televisions, said Cooper Industries Plc (CBE) is unwilling to lift its bid to 220 pence a share, as the suitor said it’s “frustrated” by the stalemate.

Laird, based in London, had proposed meeting today with managers at Houston-based Cooper to provide “value related information” that would help persuade the suitor to increase its bid, the U.K. company said in an e-mailed statement.

Cooper responded that a price of 220 pence was not “appropriate or justifiable,” according to a release. The higher offer would value Laird at 585.9 million pounds ($963 million), based on the number of shares outstanding.

“Cooper confirmed it was not prepared to meet in these circumstances,” Laird said. “In particular, Cooper has confirmed that it is not prepared to contemplate an offer at a level of 220 pence per share.”

Cooper, which makes electrical-distribution equipment, said July 27 it would consider offering 200 pence a share, up from its prior indicative bid of 185 pence, with the potential to increase the offer further subject to being allowed to do due diligence. The additional information it was willing to provide wouldn’t constitute due diligence, Laird said today.

“We are frustrated,” Cooper Chairman Kirk Hachigian said in today’s statement. “We have been clear that we have some flexibility on price and are keen to review any information provided by Laird to see if a deal can be done. However we don’t think we can justify the 220 pence -- ex dividend -- per share which Laird says it requires.”

Laird rose 2.6 percent to 187.7 pence in London trading yesterday, boosting its market value to 499.9 million pounds. The company said July 27 its first-half loss widened to 113 million pounds, or 42.6 pence a share, from 12.3 million pounds, or 4.6 pence, a year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gavin Finch in London at gfinch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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