FRANKFURT German pump maker Busch's holding in bid target Pfeiffer Vacuum (PV.DE) has edged up above 30 percent, two and a half weeks before its 949-million-euro ($1 billion) offer runs out.
By the end of Feb. 21, eight days after Busch launched its offer, the group had 30.003 percent of shares in Pfeiffer, Busch said in a statement on Thursday.
Family-owned Busch had already secured shares in Pfeiffer taking its holding in the group to 29.98 percent before it launched its offer. The acceptance period for the bid runs through to March 13.
Pfeiffer has rejected Busch's bid of 96.20 euros per share, which values the group at around 949 million euros, saying it lacked a control premium and did not reflect the growth potential for vacuum pumps.
Shares in Pfeiffer traded at 102.50 euros, well above the offer price, by 0847 GMT on Thursday, down 0.8 percent from Wednesday's close.
Pfeiffer said last week its management could not recommend that shareholders accept Busch's offer and that it was "reviewing other options to ensure that Pfeiffer Vacuum shareholders can appropriately participate in the long-term development of the company".
MM Warburg analyst Eggert Kuls said he expected those options could include higher dividends, share buy-backs, acquisitions or strategic partnerships.
Pfeiffer makes pumps used by manufacturers including semiconductor firms and makers of analytical devices such as electron microscopes. Busch describes itself as one of the world's largest makers of vacuum pumps, blowers and compressors supplying all industry sectors.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Christoph Steitz and Jane Merriman)