Denmark’s Bang & Olufsen’s shares soar with buyers’ approach

Photo: Bang & Olufsen Website

Danish high-end stereo and TV maker Bang & Olufsen said it had received approaches regarding a potential takeover offer, sending its shares soaring by more than 30 percent.

Bang & Olufsen, known for its exclusive design and for producing TVs at prices of up to 60,000 Danish crowns ($8,540) has been loss-making for three straight years.

“The company has initiated a dialogue to investigate and analyse the firmness of these approaches,” the company said in a statement. The talks may or may not lead to an offer for the whole or part of the share capital, it said.

By 1430 GMT shares in Bang & Olufsen were up 32 percent, giving the company a market capitalisation of around 3.2 billion Danish crowns ($455 million).

Although its design remains highly prized, there have been criticism that the company’s technology has failed to keep pace with rivals. It has also suffered as consumers switch to streaming more music and television shows on mobiles and tablets.

The company sold its automotive division to Harman International Industries in March in a deal where Harman paid an upfront cash payment of around 1.17 billion Danish crowns as well as licence payments of at least 12.7 million crowns a year for 20 years.

For the fiscal year 2014/15, Bang & Olufsen reported a loss before tax of 803 million crowns after a loss of 286 million crowns a year earlier.

According to analyst Morten Imsgaard from Sydbank it is possible for Bang & Olufsen to stay independent after they sold the automotive business.

“But in the long term the company will benefit from a partnership or a buyer with more scale in an interchangeable technological industry,” Imsgaard said.

(Additional reporting by Alexander Tange; editing by Jason Neely and Keith Weir)

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