May 23, 2018 / 7:40 AM / 6 months ago

China's Qumei in $630 million bid for Norway furniture maker Ekornes

OSLO (Reuters) - China’s Qumei Home Furnishing Group (603818.SS) on Tuesday made an all-cash bid for Norway’s Ekornes EKO.OL, valuing the Oslo-listed furniture maker at 5.1 billion Norwegian crowns ($630.75 million), the companies said in a joint statement.

The board of Ekornes unanimously recommended the bid of 139 Norwegian crowns per share, a premium of 18 percent above Wednesday’s close.

“After the first approach from Qumei more than a year ago, the board and management have spent significant time and efforts to assess this strategic opportunity,” Ekornes said.

“We have been impressed by Qumei’s ability to develop successful products and marketing concepts and we see great potential for Ekornes to continue its success under this new ownership,” it added.

Shareholders owning 25.7 percent of Ekornes have given pre-acceptance, Ekornes said.

Best known for its “Stressless” furniture brand, Ekornes’ revenues fell by 2 percent to 3.08 billion Norwegian crowns in 2017, while its net profit, hit by a negative currency effects, fell by 38 percent to 200.5 million crowns.

By 0711 GMT, shares of Ekornes traded 16 percent higher for the day at 137 Norwegian crowns, just shy of the 139 crowns offer price.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik. Editing by Jane Merriman

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