Jotun rejects Orkla’s bid

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The major Norwegian paint producer Jotun has, as expected, turned down an offer from industrial concern Orkla to buy a controlling interest in the firm still currently controlled by its founding family.

Orkla had offered a premium price for Jotun shares in return for acquiring a majority stake. Jotun’s largest existing shareholders had immediately resisted, however, saying they wanted to retain control over the firm founded by Odd Gleditsch Jr in 1926.

Orkla responded with an indication of what it would pay for Jotun’s B-shares as well as its A-shares. Jotun chairman Odd Gleditsch dy said he still wasn’t willing to sell, and it was unlikely other family members would, either.

The Gleditsch family owns 53.7 percent of Jotun’s shares and 59 percent of their votes. Orkla already holds 42.5 percent of the shares and 38.2 of the votes. An Orkla spokesman called Jotun “a fine company” and acknowledged that when the family didn’t want to sell, it means Orkla won’t acquire the majority interest it wants. He said Orkla was thus prepared “to continue as before.”

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