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Metro shares jump after investors offer to raise stake

BERLIN, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Shares in German wholesaler Metro jumped more than 6% on Monday after EP Global Commerce, an acquisition vehicle owned by Czech and Slovak investors, launched a new offer to increase their stake in the company.

EP Global Commerce, which already indirectly owns 29.99% percent of the ordinary shares and voting rights in Metro, said in a statement on Sunday it would offer 8.48 euros per ordinary share and some 8.87 euros per preference share.

The shares were trading up 6.64% at 8.87 euros at 0817 GMT.

EP Global Commerce did not set a minimum acceptance threshold and said it does not expect to hold more than 50% of the voting rights following settlement of the offer.

The firm, co-owned by Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky and Slovak partner Patrik Tkac, failed last year with a 5.8 billion euros ($6.88 billion) takeover bid for Metro after opposition from Meridian Stiftung and Beisheim Holding, which together hold a 23% stake.

Jefferies analyst James Grzinic said he expected Meridian and Beisheim to reject the new offer, given its discount to last year’s conditions, but expects EP Global Commerce to still make a “creeping takeover approach”.

“We expect Metro to trade well above the new takeover conditions in anticipation of EPGC buying shares in the open market,” Grzinic wrote.

Metro and Beisheim were not immediately available for comment. ($1 = 0.8435 euros) (Reporting by Alexander Huebner and Tom Kaeckenhoff Writing by Emma Thomasson Editing by Michelle Adair)

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