December 11, 2006
Bureau Veritas to increase its offer for Germanischer Lloyd
Bureau Veritas says it is preparing an improved offer for presentation later this week to the shareholders of Germanischer Lloyd.
The original Bureau Veritas share acquisition offer was presented to Germanischer Lloyd shareholders on November 9, since which time other potential investors have reportedly declared an intention to acquire an interest in the Hamburg-headquartered classification society.
Bureau Veritas has written to the Germanischer Lloyd shareholders during the past week informing them that the offer submitted on November 9 is currently under review.
Bureau Veritas CEO Frank Piedelievre says, "We are confident that our revised bid will answer any doubts that the shareholders may have, because we are currently revising some essential elements of our offer."
Bureau Veritas will announce its revised offer in time for the Germanischer Lloyd shareholders' meeting scheduled for December 18 in Hamburg.
Says Piedelievre, "We expect the shareholders to take charge of the matter, and to elect a spokesperson with whom we can conduct direct negotiations."
Bureau Veritas will also offer Germanischer Lloyd's management and staff representatives the opportunity for direct talks.
Bureau Veritas is currently analysing information on potential rival offers.
"We believe the prospects of obtaining the approval of Germanischer Lloyd shareholders are favorable." says Piedelievre. "We have submitted what we consider to be the best solution for shareholders, in every respect. In our opinion, none of the competing bidders is in a position to make a comparable bid on either a strategic or an operative level."
"The alliance which we envisage would create value from the very start," says Piedelievre. "Bureau Veritas and Germanischer Lloyd complement each other ideally and, by joining forces, can assume the number one position in ship classification worldwide. No other potential grouping can provide such convincing answers to the challenges facing the classification sector in general, and Germanischer Lloyd in particular."
Piedelievre also maintains that only the offer submitted by Bureau Veritas will provide Hamburg with the global leader in maritime classification that its status as a city and an international business location merits. He says, "Hamburg will be the world headquarters of the proposed alliance. There is no doubt about that. All major decisions regarding marine activities will be made in Hamburg. The maritime divisions of both companies complement each other perfectly. And the alliance will provide a vital incentive to create new jobs, so fears about job losses are completely unwarranted."