H Intressenter is offering SEK320 in cash per share in Höganäs. The company was established in order to make the offer, and Lindéngruppen and FAM own 50% each of the holding company.

H Intressenter decided to announce the offer before the board of Höganäs had an appropriate opportunity to evaluate the offer “with respect to certain related party relationships between certain members of Höganäs’ Board and Lindéngruppen,” it said in a press release. Höganäs responded by appointing Handelsbanken Capital Markets as financial advisor regarding the fairness of the offer. The board says that it will respond by no later than two weeks prior to the expiry of the acceptance period, which is 12 April 2013.

Lindéngruppen has been a long standing owner of Höganäs between 1987–1994 and the largest shareholder since the public listing in 1994, with 21.8% of the shares and 37.8% of the votes. It has undertaken measures to transfer all its shares in Höganäs to H Intressenter. H Intressenter has also acquired Industrivärden’s shares in Höganäs, corresponding to 12.6% of the shares and 10.1% of the votes, for SEK 320 per share. Altogether, H Intressenter controls 34.4% of the shares and 47.9% of the votes in Höganäs.Three members of Höganäs’ Board, Jenny Lindén Urnes, Erik Urnes and Urban Jansson are also members of the Board of Lindéngruppen.

Erik Urnes, CEO of Lindéngruppen, spoke exclusively to Metal Powder Report about the bid.

"We fundamentally appreciate the existing management and their long-term strategy, and intend to continue to invest in its existing iron and metal powder sections," he said. "These are very important core businesses."

However, he said that Höganäs’ acquision of additive manufacturer fcubic back in September was not a major motivator of the bid. "3-D printing is very exciting, but is still in its early stages. I think it will become an important technology in ten to fifteen years' time, and is part of our long-term strategy for the company."

Lindéngruppen’s chairman, Jenny Lindén Urnes, added: ”Lindéngruppen’s ambition is to develop the businesses we own in a private context. We have therefore made a very attractive offer to the other shareholders."

Jenny Urnes added: “We have found a partner in FAM that shares our view on long-term ownership. FAM has a long track record of owning and developing industrial companies and a strong global network within sectors relevant to Höganäs.”

Lars Wedenborn, FAM's CEO, added: "This is an attractive opportunity for FAM to become a partner in a well-run business with a strong market position. Höganäs is an interesting addition to FAM’s portfolio which will create long-term value and returns for the Wallenberg foundations. Lindéngruppen’s and FAM’s competencies complement each other well, which creates a solid platform for long-term development of the company."

Lindéngruppen and FAM said that they intended to safeguard the excellent relationship that Höganäs has with its employees. They support  the company’s existing strategic plans, and do not foresee that the implementation of the offer will involve any material change for management and employees (including terms of employment) or for the employment and operations on the locations where the company conducts business. 

“Höganäs’ employees have made the company the well-run business that we see today,” Erik Urnes said. “We have great confidence in the management team and the company’s existing strategies, and will continue to make investments in the company, especially in research and innovation.” 

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