European industrial equipment supplier Loxam SAS [LOXAM.UL] said it reached an agreement on the terms of its offer to buy UK's Lavendon Group Plc LVD.L, valuing the UK company at about 374 million pounds ($473.5 million).
Loxam is locked in a bidding war with Belgian industrial equipment supplier TVH Group NV, which offered 205 pence per share, valuing Lavendon at 348 million pounds.
"Lavendon directors unanimously intend to recommend Loxam's offer," Loxam President Gerard Deprez said in a statement.
Loxam, which had made its interest in Lavendon known in late November, offered 220 pence for each Lavendon share, just shy of the stock's closing price of 220.50 pence on Tuesday.
Lavendon shares, which have gained about 59 percent since Nov. 22 when TVH first publicly proposed to buy the company, opened up 4.4 percent at 230.25 pence at 0801 GMT on the London Stock Exchange.
The bidding war intensified on Wednesday as TVH Group said it was setting aside its 'no increase' statement on its offer for Lavendon, bringing in the possibility of it raising the bid.
Both Loxam and TVH were eyeing Lavendon's market share in equipment rental business in the UK and the Middle East.
Lavendon had initially rebuffed TVH's offer, citing concerns over execution risk and potential disruption to its business.
TVH Group had said in November that its offer of 205 pence per Lavendon share was final unless Loxam or a third company makes a bid for Lavendon.
($1 = 0.7898 pounds)
(Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bengaluru, Editing by Sunil Nair and Gopakumar Warrier)