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13 November 2013

Oxford Instruments gets hostile on Andor

Oxford Instruments, one of the institution’s first spin-outs, makes a hostile takeover bid of AIM-listed Andor at 500p per share.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor

Oxford Instruments (OI) has made a hostile takeover bid of Northern Ireland-based high-tech camera manufacturer Andor Technology.

OI, one of the first spin-outs of Oxford University, made a 500p ($7.96) per share takeover offer to Andor, itself a spin-out of Queen’s University Belfast. OI said the offer presents a 25% premium of Alternative Investment Market (AIM) listed Andor’s closing share price on 11 November, and values the company at £159m.

Andor’s board have so far responded by saying it was disappointed with OI’s choice to make the offer public, which was originally made on the 8th of November, and said it was “premature and unhelpful in light of ongoing discussions.”

In a statement, Andor said: "Given the level of uncertainty and conditionality, the Board of Andor felt that it could not properly consider the proposal, but it did confirm to Oxford Instruments that it remained willing to continue discussions to explore whether a definitive, acceptable offer might be found that was in the interests of Andor shareholders."

The bid was revealed as OI’s half year results were published. In its report, the company explained the strategy behind the Andor bid thusly: “We are looking at acquisitions that share routes to market with Oxford Instruments and offer opportunities for growth in the Nano-Bio market. As announced this morning, one avenue we are exploring is through the potential acquisition of Andor, a UK based high-technology company specialising in the manufacture of high-end scientific cameras, microscope systems and analytical software for the material and life science industries. Andor’s technology would extend our capability into the optical domain, which is the primary technology used for analysing biological samples at the nano scale.”

Following the announcement, OI’s shares rose by 10.8% on Tuesday morning.

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