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Demag Cranes Rejects Shareholder Demand to Seek Merger Partner

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Demag Cranes AG, the German maker of harbor cranes that was approached by Finnish competitor Konecranes Oyj last year, said pressure from shareholders to resume talks won’t sway management to reconsider a combination.

The company, based in Dusseldorf, said it received a letter from shareholders urging the board to merge Demag with Konecranes or another potential partner. Among the authors of the letter was Centaurus Capital Ltd., Demag Cranes’s second-largest investor, according to the Financial Times.

“We have received and responded to this letter already and would like to point out that we carefully evaluated preliminary, non-binding indications of interest we received from foreign companies last year,” Demag Cranes spokesman Nikolai Juchem said. “Management and supervisory board unanimously agreed the suggested talks would yield no benefits for the company.”

Helsinki-based Konecreanes said Feb. 3 that it will not pursue its approach of Demag after the target company rebuffed a combination. Konecranes spokesman Michael Wegmueller had no comment on the letter sent by investors.

Centaurus Capital holds 5.06 percent of Demag’s shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The biggest shareholder is Cevian Capital, a Stockholm-based fund led by activist investor Christer Gardell.

To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Weiss in Frankfurt at rweiss5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net.

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