General Electric Co. (IW 500/6) refused to raise its price for 3-D printer company SLM Solutions Group AG after hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. said it would reject the tender offer, setting up a showdown between the industrial giant and billionaire Paul Singer.
SLM Solutions’ management joined GE in urging shareholders of the German company to accept the offer before it expires on Oct. 24, the company said Friday in a statement. GE last month offered 38 euros a share for SLM as part of a plan to buy both it and Sweden’s Arcam AB for a combined $1.4 billion in a significant expansion of its 3-D-printing capabilities.
GE is making greater use of so-called additive manufacturing as it focuses on building industrial equipment with digital capabilities. Elliott, founded by Singer in 1977, “believes that GE’s offer is not in the best interests of SLM shareholders,” it said Thursday in a statement. The hedge fund through affiliates has amassed more than 20% of the printer company’s shares.
The SLM bid represented a 38% premium over the closing price the day before the deal’s announcement, Boston-based GE said. SLM shares have more than doubled in value this year, giving the company a market value of about 710 million euros (US$777 million). GE closed Thursday at $29.07 in New York.
Singer has been boosting the stake since GE’s original offer and said in a filing last month that he intended to “exert influence” over matters such as the company’s capital structure and the makeup of managing and supervisory bodies.
By Richard Clough