The main shareholder of Bobst Group SA, JBF Finance SA, which belongs to the Bobst family, launches a public tender offer for all Bobst shares held by the public. JBF Finance, which already holds 53% of the shares and voting rights, offers CHF78.00 in cash per Bobst share. Is the offer attractive?
The main shareholder of Bobst Group SA, JBF Finance SA, which belongs to the Bobst family, launches a public tender offer for all Bobst shares held by the public. JBF Finance, which already holds 53% of the shares and voting rights, offers CHF78.00 in cash per Bobst share.
What are the motivations?
The aim of the privatisation of the industrial group, according to the Bobst communication, is to transform the group into a digital, connected and sustainable packaging supply chain; in other words, to "digitalise" the group.
The Bobst family has also recognised certain advantages of having the company privatised, including fewer administrative constraints and a certain discretion that avoids making certain strategic information about the company public.
The privatisation offer does not oblige investors to sell, explains Mr Bobst, but Bobst shares will be more difficult to trade once they are taken private.
Investors still have time to make their decision as the offer period is scheduled for between 20 September and 3 October, with completion expected in early November.
The company also published its results for the first six months of the year, which show a clear acceleration in sales. Turnover rose by 15.7% to CHF 772.5 million and net profit was CHF 21.3 million. The order book is also 40% higher than last year.
While Bobst shares surged at the opening of trading, exceeding the offer price, investors are wondering if the stock is still undervalued as the company's long-standing investments are beginning to pay off and its full order book reveals a potentially exciting future for growth. Namely, the group could have a bright future ahead of it thanks to its positioning on sustainability, including the creation of ecological packaging that promotes waste reduction, or automation and recycling solutions.
The choice offered to investors
Investors must therefore choose in the coming months either to take their gains by accepting the offer or to remain a shareholder by refusing the offer, but this implies potentially having to suffer some illiquidity, which can be a significant disadvantage when an investor wishes to sell the stock. An alternative for investors wishing to retain exposure to the sector is to consider selling the Bobst shares and investing in the shares of competitors that are still at a significant discount to the stock market.