Fidelity Offers to Take Colt Private for 570 Million Pounds

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Fidelity offered 570 million pounds ($900 million) for the shares in Colt Group SA it doesn’t already own in a buyout that would end the U.K. data and networking provider’s near two-decade run as a publicly traded company.

The U.S. fund manager, which already owns 62 percent of Colt, on Friday made a 190 pence-a-share offer for the shares it doesn’t already own. That’s 21 percent more than Thursday’s closing price, the company said in a statement.

Colt, which swung into a loss last year, said the offer undervalues the company and that a sale to another buyer could reap a “significantly” higher price. It stopped short of rejecting Fidelity’s bid, saying some of its minority shareholders may find the price “acceptable in the circumstances.”

Fidelity helped to found Colt, took it public and is its biggest shareholder. The fund manager said it typically holds its investments outside the financial services industry in the private domain. The company also pledged not to cut its stake in Colt before December 2016.

The shares rose as much as 21 percent and were up 31.6 pence at 188.30 pence as of 8:34 a.m. in London trading.

Barclays Plc is advising Colt and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Fidelity.

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