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Canon takeover of Océ heads to court

Tuesday, 23 February 2010
By Print 21 Online Article

Shareholders challenge the acceptance of the cash offer by directors.

Two lots of Océ shareholders have filed a request for an investigation with the Dutch Chamber of Court of Appeals in Amsterdam. They are querying the negotiations between the two companies during the tendering for Océ shares.
Hermes and Universities Superannuation Scheme also want the suspension of resolutions passed at the general meeting in February, as well as the suspension of voting rights on the preference shares and the appointment of additional independent supervisory directors.

The Océ board is opposing the move and in a statement said it ‘regrets this step and will oppose the request.’ Its directors unanimously support and recommend the Canon offer for Océ.

The takeover has always had a disgruntled Greek chorus of shareholders who want a higher price per share, even though the offer was pitched well above the average share price for the past year (137 percent premium). UK-based Orbis Fund Management, which holds 10 per cent of the company, was the first objector, but the addition of the two latest shareholders looks set to give the minority stakeholders their day in court, at least.

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