Canadian Manufacturing

The battle for Norsat heats up as Chinese firm Hytera matches US$67.3M rival bid

Hytera's proposal has sparked a heated cross-border political debate over national security risks


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VANCOUVER—Norsat International Inc., the Vancouver tech firm at the centre of duelling acquisition bids, says China-based Hytera Communications has matched a US$67.3 million rival takeover offer from an American fund manager.

Hytera, which manufactures radio transceivers and radio systems, made its friendly takeover offer for Norsat last year and received clearance under the Investment Canada Act this month.

But Privet Fund Management LLC—a U.S. company that already owns 17.6 per cent of Norsat’s equity—emerged with a rival bid this week that was 25 cents per share above Hytera’s offer of US$11.25.

Although Hytera has now raised its offer to US$11.50 per share and amended the break fees in line with Privet’s bid, Norsat says there’s no assurance that the transaction will get all necessary approvals and be completed.

Hytera’s proposal has sparked a heated political debate over national security risks.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this week that the U.S. was consulted before Industry Canada gave its approval early in June. But Norsat says it also needs approval from the federal government’s industrial technologies office.

Norsat announced June 15 that its previously adjourned shareholders meeting will resume June 22 in Richmond, B.C.


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