Kloeckner Tumbles After Bid Talk Played Down: Frankfurt Mover

Kloeckner & Co., the German steel trader part-owned by the Knauf family, slumped the most in 14 months in Frankfurt trading after Bank of America Merrill Lynch played down the company’s prospects for being taken over.

Kloeckner slid 4.7 percent, the biggest decline since May, to 10.96 euros as of the close. About 1.71 million shares were traded, double the three-month average daily volume. Before today, the stock had rallied 22 percent since Feb. 18.

“We don’t expect a merger/bid for KCO and think bid speculation will subside,” Bank of America wrote in a note to clients today.

Interfer Holding GmbH, which owns competitor Knauf Interfer SE, said last month it bought a 7.82 percent stake in Kloeckner. Interfer, owned by Dortmund-based entrepreneur Albrecht Knauf, is now the company’s largest shareholder, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Interfer said in a meeting March 1 that it “supports the Kloeckner & Co. management board’s strategy of expanding activities in the USA in parallel with systematic restructuring in European markets,” Kloeckner said yesterday. “Any other link-up with Kloeckner & Co was not a topic.”