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Schmolz & Bickenbach Jumps on Handelsblatt Report of Sale

January 03, 2013

Schmolz & Bickenbach AG (STLN) rose the most in more than two years after Handelsblatt reported the Swiss maker of high-grade steel products may be sold in a transaction valued at as much as 500 million euros ($658 million).

Schmolz & Bickenbach advanced as much as 29 percent to 3.70 Swiss francs, the biggest intraday gain since Nov. 3, 2010, and was up 12 percent at 10:51 a.m. in Zurich on the first trading day of the year. That gave the Emmenbruecke, Switzerland-based company a market value of 376.8 million francs ($410 million).

A takeover could take place in two stages, with the acquisition of 258 million euros of high-interest bonds followed by a purchase of shares, Handelsblatt reported yesterday, citing unidentified people from the financial industry. Schmolz has attracted suitors including Apollo Global Management LLC (APO:US) and Triton Advisers Ltd., according to the German newspaper.

“The company needs to strengthen the balance sheet at some point this year,” whether through a capital increase or a debt- to-equity swap, Patrick Rafaisz, an analyst at Vontobel with a hold recommendation on the stock, said in a research report today. “Once more, minority shareholders are likely to suffer.”

Phone lines at Schmolz interim Chief Executive Officer Marcel Imhof’s office were engaged. A spokesman at CNC AG, which represents Triton, declined to comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Zoe Schneeweiss in Zurich at; Sheenagh Matthews in Frankfurt at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at

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