Sulzer Board of Directors Refrains from Issuing a Recommendation on the Mandatory Offer by Renova Shareholder Group

(PresseBox) ( Bruchsal, )
The largest shareholder of Sulzer AG, the Renova shareholder group, exceeded the threshold of 33 1/3% of the voting rights in Sulzer on July 31, 2015. This triggered a legal obligation upon it to make an offer, and the shareholder group complied by making a public purchase offer to all Sulzer shareholders on August 3, 2015. The Board of Directors of Sulzer AG appointed an Independent Committee comprising all independent members of the Board of Directors, with the exception of the two Renova representatives on the Board of Directors, Peter Löscher and Marco Musetti, to review this offer.

Following a careful examination of the mandatory purchase offer, this Independent Committee of the Sulzer Board of Directors, chaired by Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Matthias Bichsel, decided against issuing a recommendation to shareholders to accept or reject the offer. Justifying this decision ( the Independent Committee pointed out that, according to the offer prospectus, the Renova shareholder group has no intention to change either Sulzer’s strategic focus or the existing composition of its Board of Directors or Executive Committee and that the company's listing was to remain unchanged. It followed, then, that no change in control was at issue. 

The Board of Directors indicates that in its opinion the offer price fails to take sufficient account of the potential rise in the Sulzer share price. As a result, those shareholders who accept the purchase offer would not be able to benefit if the share price were to rise. On the other hand, the Board of Directors points out that tendering the shares would protect shareholders from a fall in the share price and, moreover, that the share's liquidity could be reduced if a large number of shares were tendered. The Board of Directors therefore leaves it to shareholders themselves to decide whether to accept or reject the purchase offer.
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