MILAN Feb 6 Activist investor Amber Capital
said on Saturday it was not happy with a new price set for the
buyout of minority shareholders in Italian train signalling
group Ansaldo STS.
The statement comes after similar comments by Bluebell
Partners, setting the scene for a tug-of-war between the
investment funds and Japan's Hitachi over Ansaldo STS.
Hitachi launched a 9.5 euro per share mandatory public offer
to buy out minority shareholders in Ansaldo STS on Jan. 4 after
buying 40 percent of the train signalling company from defence
group Finmeccanica last year at the same price.
On Wednesday Italy's market watchdog Consob said Hitachi had
to raise its offer to 9.899 euros from 9.5 euros.
"The price is still too low... we do not plan to tender our
shares," said a spokesman of the activist investor.
Amber Capital owns around 2.38 percent in Ansaldo STS.
Bluebell Partners, which asked Consob to intervene arguing
the bid price should be raised to 15 euros, said on Thursday it
was not happy with the new price set and would not tender its
In a statement posted on its website, Consob said on
Wednesday Hitachi and state-controlled Finmeccanica had colluded
to keep the price of the offer for Ansaldo STS artificially low,
by overvaluing loss-making rolling stock division AnsaldoBreda -
which was also sold to the Japanese group as part of the deal.
"They (Consob) are totally wrong," Alistair Dormer,
responsible for Hitachi's world-wide rail businesses, told
Italian daily la Repubblica on Saturday.
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; writing by Francesca Landini;
Editing by Toby Chopra)