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Camillo Eitzen open to takeovers

Camillo Eitzen open to takeovers
INDONESIAN shipowner Berlian Laju Tankers? takeover of Norwegian shipping group Camillo Eitzen has started to unravel after the Oslo-listed company opened itself up to rival offers.

Camillo Eitzen open to new takeover offers.

INDONESIAN shipowner Berlian Laju Tankers" takeover of Norwegian shipping group Camillo Eitzen has started to unravel after the Oslo-listed company opened itself up to rival offers.

Camillo Eitzen"s board of directors wants BLT"s to raise its offer, which is valued at $165m, or add a cash component, and has grown tired of waiting for the proposed takeover to be completed.

?We have decided to abort our exclusivity with BLT because the latest proposal pushes the timeline beyond what we wanted. Also the premium of the BLT offer has been eliminated at times,? Camillo Eitzen chief executive Peter Knudsen said.

?We do not want to tie ourselves up for another five to six months, as we do not know if there will be any more delays.?

BLT offered to pay Camillo Eitzen shareholders NKr23.5 per share in its own shares under conditions that were initially agreed in mid-December, but Camillo Eitzen"s value of has risen above the offer value during the last three weeks.

?It is still favourable to work with BLT and they are still our preferential buyer, but now our hands have been untied. We are open to new offers, but we have not entertained any other offers,? Mr Knudsen said.

Camillo Eitzen has interests in Eitzen Bulk, which operates a fleet of more than 70 dry bulk carriers, and Eitzen Chemical, operating a fleet of 84 chemical carriers.

BLT"s latest proposal involves a fixed component of NKr18 per Camillo Eitzen share to be paid in BLT shares. There is to be a secondary share component that is equivalent to NKr5.50 per Camillo Eitzen share.

BLT needs to raise $200m in new equity with this transaction as a condition to taking over the Norwegian group and the plan is to list the shares of the combined company in Oslo.

?The BLT offer is a share for share deal and there is a risk element in BLT raising new equity and how the BLT stock will preform from here. It could be favourable, or go a different way,? Mr Knudsen said.

?Now we have more flexibility and we are in a better position to negotiate. We will continue to speak with BLT to try to resolve this deal. If they came back with a cash offer, it would be better. The ball is back in their court,? he added.

BLT originally proposed a $168m takeover in October last year, but had to restructure the deal after Indonesian regulators refused to allow the transaction to proceed.

Since then, Camillo Eitzen affiliates Eitzen Bulk and Orion have agreed to merge, allowing Eitzen Bulk to list shares in Denmark.

Another affiliate Eitzen Chemical raised cash from share issues late last year to restructure its debt.

Both actions improved the value of Camillo Eitzen and its share in the affiliate companies, Mr Knudsen said.


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