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Cooper Industries Drops Laird Takeover Plans Over Price

Cooper Industries Plc dropped plans to buy Laird Plc, the world’s largest maker of electronic shields for laptops and televisions, after failing to agree a price. Laird shares fell the most in almost three years.

“Cooper continues to believe that there would be strategic merit in acquiring Laird but is unwilling to proceed at the price at which the board of Laird will engage with Cooper or without being able to undertake due diligence,” the Houston-based electrical-distribution equipment maker said in a Regulatory News Service statement today. “Cooper has elected to withdraw its interest.”

Cooper had until 5 p.m. today under U.K. takeover rules to say whether it intended to make a formal offer for Laird, following an indicative offer of 185 pence a share in cash it made June 16, a 35 percent premium. It announced on July 27 it was willing to raise its offer to 200 pence. Both offers were subject to due diligence.

Laird said both offers undervalued the company. On July 30, Laird said Cooper was unwilling to meet its price of 220 pence, a valuation Cooper said wasn’t “appropriate or justifiable.” Cooper’s potential offer of 200 pence valued the company at about 533 million pounds ($867 million).

Laird slumped 27.9 pence, or 15 percent, the most since November 2008, to 159.8 pence. That’s the lowest since Cooper’s initial approach on June 16. It was the biggest faller among the 627 companies in the FTSE All-Share Index.

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