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(Reuters) - Belgian equipment rental company TVH Group NV said on Tuesday it had raised its offer for Britain's Lavendon Group Plc LVD.L to 444 million pounds ($545 million), slightly pipping an offer from French rival Loxam SAS [LOXAM.UL].
TVH said on Tuesday it was now offering 261 pence per Lavendon share, up from its previous offer of 251 pence.
Loxam offered 260 pence per share on Dec. 28.
TVH also said it now owned about 20.4 percent of Lavendon.
Lavendon shares, which have nearly doubled in value since Nov. 22 when TVH disclosed its buyout proposal, were up 1 percent at 267 pence at 1239 GMT on the London Stock Exchange.
TVH Group and Loxam are eyeing the British company's market share in the equipment rental business in both the UK and the Middle East.
Loxam, which made its interest in Lavendon public in late November, offered 260 pence per share last Wednesday, valuing the company at 442 million pounds.
Lavendon directors have said they intend to unanimously recommend Loxam's offer.
Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bengaluru,