(Adds response from MP Evans.)
By Ian Walker
LONDON--Shares of MP Evans Group PLC (MPE.LN) rose as much as 13% in early trade Tuesday, leading the FTSE Aim All-Share index risers, after Malaysian plantation company Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (2445.KU) raised its offer for the U.K.-listed firm to 415.4 million pounds ($516.3 million).
Kuala Lumpur Kepong is offering 740 pence a share for MP Evans, up from 640 pence previously. It added the offer is final and won't be increased.
MP Evans shares at 1255 GMT are up 36.5 pence, or 5.83%, at 663 pence, having peaked at 710 penceearlier in the session.
Responding, MP Evans confirmed that it had received the revised offer on Friday, which it rejects reiterating that the price "very substantially" undervalues the company, its unique position and future growth potential.
The company said it will make a further statement, but in the meantime advises shareholders to take no action.
Last month Kuala Lumpur announced its original offer, which was subsequently rejected by MP Evans on the same merit. It also said the price doesn't reflect the value of the majority-owned estates, plantation joint ventures, smallholder co-operative schemes and Malaysian property assets of the group.
MP Evans also said at the time that it has the support of shareholders owning 54.72% of its issued shares. Kuala Lumpur said Tuesday it noted the response of major shareholders and is "pleased to present a revised offer."
Kuala Lumpur said combining the two companies operations should establish best practices for the further growth of both, and enable the enlarged group to capitalize on economies of scale in the oil palm sector.
The latest offer is a 74% premium to MP Evans' closing share price of 426 pence on Oct. 24, the day before the offer was first announced, and an 18% premium to Monday's closing share price of 626.5 pence.
Kuala Lumpur said it continues to believe that its all-cash increased offer is highly attractive for MP Evans shareholders and provides shareholders the opportunity to realize substantial value from their investment in the context of the low liquidity in the trading of MP Evans shares.
Write to Ian Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org; @IanWalk40289749
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 15, 2016 08:29 ET (13:29 GMT)
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