December 6, 2019 / 6:18 PM / a month ago

Austria's AMS hails Osram victory with second $5.1 billion bid

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian sensor specialist AMS (AMS.S) said it had succeeded at its second attempt with a 4.6 billion euro ($5.1 billion) bid for Osram (OSRn.DE) on Friday, gaining more than 55% of the German lighting group’s shares.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of German lighting manufacturer Osram is seen behind light bulbs that are on display at the company headquarters in Munich, Germany, August 27, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

AMS, which supplies Apple (AAPL.O) with sensors for iPhones such as those used for facial recognition, wants to build a leader in integrated sensors and lights with a focus on the highly competitive market for self-driving cars.

A first offer by AMS at the same price of 41 euros per Osram share in October failed. It lowered the necessary acceptance rate to 55% in its second attempt from the 62.5% it had missed.

“We have been successful in achieving the minimum acceptance threshold in our offer for Osram,” AMS said in a statement.

After intensive talks, Osram’s management ended its resistance to the much smaller company’s approach and entered into a business combination agreement last month.

Although the offer expired on Thursday, AMS said acceptances could be booked until Monday and the final result would be published on Tuesday.

There will also be an “additional acceptance period” until Dec. 24 in which any holdouts can tender their shares, it said.

“AMS has made extensive commitments for Osram’s employees and production facilities, particularly in Germany. Merger-related layoffs, for example, have been ruled out until the end of 2022,” Osram said in a statement.

“Together and in a dialogue with the trade unions and employee representatives, the managing boards of Osram and AMS will now prepare a viable integration roadmap as equals.”

AMS said it intends to hold a meeting of its shareholders in January to approve a planned 1.6 billion euro rights issue that will partly fund the deal.

“Further steps to implement the transaction are expected to commence in the very near future and AMS continues to expect the closing of the transaction in the first half of 2020,” it said.

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Additional reporting by Douglas Busvine in Frankfurt; Editing by Alexander Smith

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