By Gilles Castonguay
MILAN--Italy's Fiat Industrial SpA (FI.MI) has raised its offer to buy out minority shareholders in its U.S. subsidiary, CNH Global NV (CNH), by adding a cash component that represents a 25.6% improvement to its original offer designed to facilitate the merger of the two companies.
Fiat Industrial came out with a statement Monday to announce the revised offer for the 12% of CNH it doesn't already own after the original one was rejected on Oct. 15 by a special committee set up by CNH's board.
It said it sweetened the offer with a cash dividend of $10 per CNH share.
The rest of the terms of its offer--3.828 shares in the new company for every CNH share--remain unchanged.
"Adding this special dividend to Fiat Industrial's May 30 proposal represents a 25.6% improvement over the implied value of the original proposal, plus the value associated with an accelerated distribution," read the statement. "Fiat Industrial has indicated its willingness to defer receipt of the dividend on its 88% of the CNH shares in order to preserve the Group's capital pending completion of the merger."
Fiat Industrial gave the committee until a minute before midnight on Nov. 21 to reply, adding that it hoped to reach a definitive agreement by Nov. 25.
Even if its revised offer is rejected, Fiat Industrial said it planned to go ahead with plans to create a new company with its headquarters in the Netherlands and a dual listing in New York and Milan.
The idea is to simplify its structure, attract more investors, improve the liquidity of the stock and increase access to credit markets.
Fiat Industrial comprises CNH, a maker of tractors and combines, and Italian truck maker Iveco.
Write to Gilles Castonguay at [email protected]; Twitter: @GRCastonguay
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