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Adler rejects Austrian regulator's concerns of collusion with other Conwert investors
March 9, 2016 / 9:14 AM / 2 years ago

Adler rejects Austrian regulator's concerns of collusion with other Conwert investors

VIENNA (Reuters) - Germany’s Adler Real Estate on Wednesday rejected concerns expressed by Austria’s takeover commission that it had colluded with another shareholder in property group Conwert in a bid to influence strategy.

The logo of Austrian properties group Conwert is pictured behind traffic lights at its headquarters in Vienna February 16, 2015. Shares in Conwert rose sharply to trade above Deutsche Wohnen's planned offer price, as minority investors said the bid announced on Sunday undervalued the property group. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

Austria’s takeover commission said on Tuesday it was investigating whether Conwert shareholders Adler and Petrus Advisers LLP had colluded, including in the build-up to an extraordinary Conwert shareholders meeting this month, and thereby violated an obligation to make a takeover offer.

In a statement, Adler said it had not made any arrangements with Petrus or other parties with respect to Conwert.

“From Adler’s perspective, it is undisputed that there is no acting in concert,” it said.

Adler, which holds a 22.4 percent stake in Conwert, is unhappy with Conwert’s strategy. It wants to overhaul the Conwert board of directors by replacing three members with its own candidates at a shareholder meeting due to be held on March 17. Conwert and some other shareholders reject the plan.

If Adler and Petrus are found to have teamed up, they would have violated an obligation under Austrian law to make a takeover bid for Conwert as they owned more than 30 percent of Conwert up until January.

The mandatory takeover offer threshold is 30 percent.

Reporting By Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Susan Fenton

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