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Cooper spurns Danaher`s $7bn merger offer
Published:  01 September, 2001

Cooper Industries has rejected a proposal by the Danaher Corporation that the two organisations should merge. Last month Danaher made a shares-and-cash offer that valued Cooper at $6.5-7bn, and suggested that the combination would create "a significant global enterprise" with combined revenues of more than $8bn and an operating profit of more than $1.2bn.

"This is a compelling transaction for both companies from both an industrial and a financial perspective," argued Danaher president and chief executive Lawrence Culp, when he announced the offer on 1 August. "Cooper`s product portfolio is highly complementary to Danaher`s."

But seven days later, the Cooper board rejected the offer as being "unsolicited, inadequate and highly conditional". It said that the proposal was not in the best interests of the company, its shareholders or employees. It added that it was exploring "all strategic alternatives that would maximise shareholder value".

"We believe that Danaher`s proposal is an attempt to coerce Cooper shareholders into accepting an opportunistic bid to acquire Cooper at a low price," said the company`s chairman and chief executive, John Riley.

Danaher, in return, said it was "disappointed" with Cooper`s rejection and said it was still committed to its original proposal. "We remain hopeful that we will achieve a negotiated transaction with the Cooper board, but we are preserving all of our options," said Culp.

Two years ago Cooper rejected a similar approach from Danaher.

Cooper`s portfolio covers tools and electrical products including the Bussmann, Crouse-Hinds, and B-Line brands.

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