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Business

Hedge Fund Refuses to Sell HVB Shares

The multi-billion-euro (dollar) takeover of German bank HypoVereinsbank by Italian giant UniCredit has run into some resistance from HVB shareholders, with Swiss hedge fund GAM rejecting the terms of the offer on Wednesday. GAM, which belongs to Swiss banking giant UBS, holds about 1.5 million HVB shares. But fund manager John Bennett told the business daily Handelsblatt that GAM believed UniCredit's bid price was too low. The Italian giant is offering five of its own shares for every HVB share held, effectively pricing HVB shares at 22 euros ($26.60) a piece. But Bennett said the HVB shares were worth 25-27 euros each. "We're not going to sell under current conditions," the fund manager told the newspaper. GAM is not the first HVB shareholder to criticize the terms of the offer. Austrian shareholder, the AVZ foundation, which holds a stake of four percent, was also critical, saying it would make a final decision whether to accept the offer in September. Nevertheless, most analysts believe shareholder resistance to the deal will not be strong enough to scupper it altogether.

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