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Stevanato raises offer to win battle for Balda

Join Date: 2018-12-01

Photo by Balda AG Balda AG's clean room manufacturing in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany.

The Balda takeover drama reached a climax on Friday as the two bidders for the German injection moulder both increased their offers while an extraordinary meeting of shareholders took place in Hanover. In a statement posted on its website late in the evening on Friday 29 January, Balda said the shareholder meeting had approved the sale of the Balda Group operating units to Stevanato Group of Italy for €95m.

Earlier in the day, the meeting had convened to discuss and vote on a €80m offer made by Stevanato on 14 December 2015, which exceeded the €74m offer from Heitkamp & Thumann of Germany that was initially accepted by Balda’s shareholders on 1 December.

Balda Group chairman Thomas van Aubel said in his introductory remarks that Heitkamp & Thumann had increased its offer to €90m with a reduced liability cap of €5.4m on Balda’s contractual warranties.

Then at noon, Stevanato in turn improved its offer to €95m with a liability cap of €5.7m for the contractual warranties. Balda’s executive and supervisory boards reviewed the new Stevanato offer and recommended to the shareholder meeting that it was preferable to Heitkamp & Thumann’s €90m offer. A shareholder debate followed, before shareholders voted 98% in favour of accepting the €95m Stevanato offer.

The shareholders also approved a change in the corporate purpose of Balda Group and changing its name to Clere AG after the sale of the operating units.

Christian Diemer, managing partner and CEO of Heitkamp & Thumann, said a statement: "We are obviously disappointed that the shareholders of Balda AG have revoked their decision [in December] to sell the business operations of the Balda Group to Heitkamp & Thumann Group. Nevertheless we wish the future owners of the companies good luck and much success.”

The operational units of the Balda Group, which mainly make injection moulded components for the medical market, are: Balda Medical GmbH & Co. KG, based in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany; Balda C. Brewer, Inc. and Balda Precision, Inc., both located in California, US; and as Balda Medical Systems SRL, based in Romania.

Stevanato makes insulin cartridges and glass primary packaging for the pharmaceutical sector, and has operations in Italy, Denmark, Slovakia, USA, Mexico and China.

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