German public tender offers come under pressure from both active and passive investors

26 February 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

Acquirers looking to take over German public companies must increasingly study the types and proportions of shareholders they are approaching, and set the minimum acceptance threshold for their tender offer accordingly, industry sources said.
The rising proportion of public company ownership from exchange-traded funds (ETFs), index funds, and other passive sources, is increasingly leading to difficulties overcoming a typical tender offer acceptance threshold, managing director of Catana Capital Holger Knauer said.
The presence of passive money has led to activists and hedge funds taking up arbitrage opportunities in public tenders with greater effect, two German lawyers said.
The arbitrage strategy can lead to more drawn-out sale processes that incur greater costs and, in some cases, can derail entire takeovers, according to the CEO of proxy solicitor Georgeson Cas Sydorowitz.
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