Siebe wins food fight

APV, the food processing equipment manufacturer, looks likely to stay in British hands following an agreed takeover by controls and engineering giant Siebe. Siebe will pay £327.4m for APV after fighting off predatory advances from what was thought to be GEA, APV’s German rival. The company was not available for comment about rumours of a […]

APV, the food processing equipment manufacturer, looks likely to stay in British hands following an agreed takeover by controls and engineering giant Siebe.

Siebe will pay £327.4m for APV after fighting off predatory advances from what was thought to be GEA, APV’s German rival. The company was not available for comment about rumours of a counter bid.

The APV board recommended Siebe’s offer to shareholders of 0.11 shares for each APV share, which valued them at 105p, or 59% over the pre-bid closing price.

Siebe failed in 1986 to take the company over with a £222m bid. APV’s chief executive, Dr Neil French, said Siebe’s ownership of Foxboro, the process automation business, rendered the current bid more attractive.

APV has been subject to takeover speculation in recent months because of losses sustained by price cutting by its rivals and APV’s propensity to buy more engineering companies than it can manage.

APV, which is already 3% owned by Siebe, will boost Siebe’s presence in the process control industry by giving it access to the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industry. Siebe currently dominates process control in the chemical, oil and gas industry.

Siebe expects APV’s 3% growth rate to reach 10% in the next two to three years.