Ilion Group has rejected a £28m takeover bid from Dutch rival Landis,eration. citing the offer as a serious undervaluation of the distributor and totally unacceptable.
As revealed by PC Dealer (7 July), Landis had been expected to make the offer for several weeks.
The bid, which proposed a price of 114p per share in cash, is the first official approach Ilion has received since being forced into talks with potential buyers after Paul Kuiken, chief executive of Landis, increased his stake in Ilion to 11.8 per cent during April. Kuiken subsequently upped his personal share of Ilion to 13 per cent.
Serge van Gorkum, chief executive of Ilion, told PC Dealer the Landis offer failed to take into consideration Ilion's record trading results in June and its strong growth in Europe.
Van Gorkum said: "There is no hostility towards Landis, we just decided its offer was too low."
He added: "The board is not affected by emotions, so if it makes another offer we will listen, but to be successful it will have to be at the right time, the right price and the right fit."
In a statement, Landis Group said it was disappointed by Ilion's rejection of the bid.
John Bus, chief financial officer of Landis, claimed: "It was a fair offer given that Ilion has lost the Cisco account in the UK and gone through a lot of management upheaval, which resulted in it trading at between 75p and 80p.
"It was only because of rumours of a takeover that the share price has gone up recently." Ilion shares were trading at 120p on 19 July.
Bus told PC Dealer that Landis was interested in Ilion because of the strategic opportunities it offered in Europe, but said the Dutch distributor was also in talks with several other possible acquisition targets.
The Landis declaration also stated the company was "considering its position as regards possible talks between Ilion UK and another party". Van Gorkum admitted Ilion was in discussions with other parties.
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