February 15, 2021
Stock market analysts welcome the increased offer of the Sioen family for Sioen Industries. The chance that the offer will be successful is now high. “It’s not an oily fish, but at least it’s a fish you can eat.”
“This should convince the vast majority of shareholders to sell their shares,” said the Degroof Petercam stock exchange. “So we think the offer has a very high chance of success.”
This is clearly positive for the minority shareholders. We found 23 euros per share to be a fair amount.
“This is clearly positive for minority shareholders,” is the response at ING. ‘We already thought 23 euros per share was a fair amount. The offer values Sioen 15 percent higher than the average in the 2016-2020 period. The offer also implies a premium of 10 percent towards peers. ‘
We can defend this.
Geert Smet of De Belegger thinks the new bid price is ‘fair’. ‘There is always room for improvement. But at 27 euros per share, Sioen is now taking into account the increased prices of competitors and the globally higher valuation on the stock exchange. This is fair. We can defend this. We are talking about an enterprise value / operating cash flow ratio of 10.4, ”he says. With the first bid, De Belegger advised his readers to wait for a second bidding round. ‘We are now going to increase our advice. If you want, you can certainly accept it. ‘
‘Because Sioen is subject to the economic cycles, you can get out today at a fair price. An economic recovery will start in 2021 and who knows, maybe it will be over by the end of 2022. What the long-term future will bring is always an uncertain factor, although we do find it regrettable that a good growth value such as Sioen disappears from the stock exchange, ‘Smet continues.
Not oily fish
Bart Goemaere of Beurstips will advise his readers to wait for the second bidding round. ‘I do think the offer will succeed. It is not an oily fish, but at least it is now a fish that you can eat. I think a lot of investors will get into this. As a result, the last stubborns will turn to a second bidding round, to avoid continuing to bet with an illiquid stock. ‘
I do think the offer will succeed. It is not an oily fish, but at least it is now a fish that you can eat.
An asset manager who was very critical about it the original bid now talks about a ‘correct price’. ‘I came to a price of 26.56 euros myself. This price is therefore correct. But in my opinion there is no takeover premium. I maintain that this is an opportunistic offer. But, admittedly, it is to the credit of Michèle Sioen that she listened to the comments of the small investors and the fund managers. ‘
It remains opportunistic. But it is to their credit Michèle Sioen that she has listened to small investors and fund managers.
The family already owns an interest of more than 65 percent in Sioen Industries through Sihold, and also wants to acquire all remaining shares and thus take the company off the stock exchange.
In order to get more shareholders over the line, the family is allocating an extra 27.6 million euros in total. ‘In order to meet the complaints, we as a family have therefore decided to increase the offer for the Sioen shares. In this way shareholders get a better price for their shares and at the same time we can bring the offer to a successful conclusion, ‘says Sioen.
Shareholders who already offered their shares under the old offer will also receive the higher price on the payment date for the sake of clarity.
In order to allow investors to respond to the improved offer, the acceptance period, which normally ran until Thursday, February 18, will be extended by at least six working days.
Questions about the role of an independent expert
In the corridors there is lashing criticism of the role of the independent expert in takeover bids on Belgian companies. In this case, Degroof Petercam prepared an appraisal report at the request of Sioen, which is included in the prospectus. Based on various valuation parameters, the stock exchange reached a range of between EUR 18.8 and EUR 28.3 per share. The middle point of that fork is 23.5 euros. Consequently, the conclusion led: “The price offered does not disregard the interests of the minority shareholders.” An asset manager: ‘The family that originally wants to offer 23 euros and an independent estimator who, after in-depth analyzes, ends up at just over 23 euros, it is a bit too coincidental for me. I do not understand that the regulator FSMA cannot find a better way to obtain a ‘fairness opinion’. ‘