Immofinanz AG should resist a “creeping takeover attempt” by CA Immobilien Anlagen AG and consider other options, according to an adviser to funds that own stakes in the Austrian real estate company.
Immofinanz should look at strategies including a partial or complete sale, a breakup and a delisting, Teleios Capital Partners LLC said in a letter to the company’s supervisory board published on Wednesday. Inaction would increase the risk of ceding control to CA Immo for a “wholly inadequate” price, Teleios Managing Director Igor Kuzniar said in the letter.
On March 16, CA Immo offered to buy 13.5 percent of Immofinanz together with Russian investor Boris Mints for 2.80 euros ($3.00) per share, a price that Immofinanz Chief Executive Eduard Zehetner said was “much too low.” Immofinanz then offered to buy 29 percent of CA Immo. The two bids followed talks between the companies about a possible merger that had broken down last year.
CA Immo’s offer “constitutes a creeping takeover attempt which will deny shareholders the control premium they deserve,” Kuzniar said. “We call on the board to take urgent steps to ensure that these very possible consequences do not transpire.”
Immofinanz should also reassess its counteroffer for CA Immo, according to Teleios. The rationale for the bid is unclear and the case for buying an illiquid stake without obvious benefits hasn’t been made, Kuzniar said.
A spokeswoman for Teleios declined to identify which funds the company represents and couldn’t say how much of Immofinanz they own. Immofinanz spokeswoman Bettina Schragl didn’t have an immediate comment.
Vienna-based Immofinanz will hold a shareholder meeting on April 17 to vote on the partial bid for CA Immo, also based in the Austrian capital. It will seek approval to lower the threshold at which an owner would have to make a mandatory offer to 15 percent from 30 percent now.