European payment terminal maker Ingenico has rejected a EUR1.44 billion takeover offer from US firm Danaher. The rebuff has been welcomed by French government officials, who have declared that a sale of the Chip and PIN device manufacturer to a foreign bidder would run counter to strategic national interests.
The offer appears to have been scuppered by opposition from Ingenico's top shareholder Safran, the state controlled French aero-engine and defence group which holds a 22% stake in the firm.
State opposition to a sale was spelled out by Eric Besson, the French minister for Industry, Energy and the Digital Economy in an interview with nouvelobs.com: "I can confirm that the state considers that it is a business essential for the French electronics industry and, personally, I am pleased that the Board has considered yesterday that the offer was not attractive enough...The state is fully aware of the strategic nature of this business for the French electronics industry."
The Government's stance appear likely to put any future sale on ice, says market analysts.
Ingenico shares trended up by four percent to EUR27.10 in early trading Tuesday, fractionally below Danaher's offer price of EUR28.