Kvaerner Won't Up Aker Bid

Tuesday, August 22, 2000
Kvaerner, reporting a bigger-than-expected first half profit, said it would not raise a rejected takeover bid for oil and gas services group Aker Maritime.

Kvaerner swung to a first half pre-tax profit of 155 million Norwegian crowns ($17.4 million) from a loss of 4.81 billion in the same period of last year, when it made giant provisions for a wrenching restructuring.

"We find no economic argument to raise the offer (for Aker Maritime), so we won't do it," chief executive Kjell Almskog told a news conference of Kvaerner's all-share bid for Aker, which itself owns 26 percent of Kvaerner.

He said the planned takeover was not essential to Kvaerner. Aker Maritime's majority owner, Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke, has snubbed the August 7 offer of 0.79 new Kvaerner shares for every Aker share. The bid valued Aker at about $500 million based on a Kvaerner share price of 120 crowns.

"The positive results clearly demonstrate that Kvaerner is now starting to get back on track," Almskog said.

"After more than 12 months of comprehensive restructuring the time is right to start preparing for the more long-term growth and success of the group," he said.

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