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Cooper Industries May Withdraw Laird Bid

Mon, 08/01/2011 - 5:25am

NEW YORK (AP) -- Cooper Industries PLC, a maker of electrical products, said on Sunday that it may withdraw its bid to acquire British rival Laird PLC if Laird doesn't drop its insistence on a minimum offer of about $962 million.

Laird had proposed a meeting with Cooper to provide more financial information but made a minimum offer of 220 pence per share a pre-condition of the session. Cooper had said on July 27 that it might be willing to raise its offer from 200 pence per share.

However, Cooper said in a statement it does not think that a price of 220 pence per share -- a 60 percent premium to Laird's share price the day before the takeover offer was announced -- is justified. Laird subsequently has declined to share more information about its value.

Cooper said that if Laird's board does not change its position before the Aug. 1 takeover deadline, Cooper will withdraw its bid.

"We are frustrated," said Cooper Chairman and CEO Kirk Hachigian in the statement. "We have been clear that we have some flexibility on price and are keen to review any information provided by Laird to see if a deal can be done. However we don't think we can justify the 220 pence (ex dividend) per share which Laird says it requires."

Cooper's corporate headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, but its administrative headquarters are in Houston.

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