Navistar International Corp said a takeover offer from Volkswagen’s trucks unit Traton would need to be raised to $44.50 per share to win shareholders’ backing, hours before Volkswagen’s $43 per share offer was due to expire.
A letter published by the U.S. company said Navistar’s board had asked Traton to confirm that a price of $44.50 per share was a basis for finalising definitive agreements.
Traton declined to comment.
Traton raised its offer for Navistar to $43 per share last month and set an Oct. 16 deadline for the U.S. truckmaker to accept it.
Navistar stock rose 20% to $42.65 after the latest demand, which the U.S. company said enjoyed the backing of holdout shareholders. Shares in Traton were up 1.1% at 17.92 euros.
In September, Traton raised its initial $35 per share bid by $8 per share, seeking to raise its stake beyond the 16.7% it already owns, but Navistar said that significantly undervalued the company.
Traton has struggled to win over Navistar’s largest shareholder, billionaire activist Carl Icahn, whose fund held a 16.8% stake in the U.S. truck maker as of June 30, according to Refinitiv Eikon Data.
Navistar said a $44.50 offer would have the support of holdout shareholders, including Icahn.
Icahn and two other activist funds, Mark Rachesky’s MHR Fund Management and Gabelli Funds, together own about 40% of Navistar’s shares, according to Refinitiv data.
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