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Denmark’s Bang & Olufsen’s chief says would listen to bid approaches

Denmark’s Bang & Olufsen’s chief says would listen to bid approaches

COPENHAGEN: Bang & Olufsen (B&O), Danish television and sound system maker would consider any bid approach from a larger rival as it seeks a response to problems that caused a profit warning last month, its chairman said.

B&O, a 90-year-old company, which makes products for the luxury end of the consumer market, saw its shares fall to their lowest level since the middle of 2009 after it issued the profit warning on December 22.

Chairman Ole Andersen said if someone knocks on our door, we will of course listen to what they have to say.

Andersen added we are not blind to the bigger Asian players, who have size advantages and much lower cost levels. The company was looking at a range of potential solutions to its problems and a sale was just one option, according to the chairman.

Japan’s Sony or South Korea’s Samsung could easily absorb a company with a well known brand but a market valuation of only around 1.6 billion Danish crowns ($255 million).

Sydbank analyst Soren Lontoft said B&O’s technology would be attractive to some of the largest industry players, adding that another solution could be selling parts of the company.

B&O has begun a review of its business to reduce the complexity which has hampered new product launches. Last month’s profit warning pointed to problems in production and the supply chain.

Shares in the company gained 3.6 percent after the chairman’s comments raised the possibility of a sale. They had lost around 28 per cent over the previous three months.