Business

China-based Hytera returns with matching bid for Vancouver's Norsat International

Norsat International Inc., the Vancouver tech firm at the centre of duelling acquisition bids, says China-based Hytera Communications has matched a $67.3 million US rival takeover offer from an American fund manager.
Norsat International Inc. of Vancouver is the subject of competing bids from China and the United States. (Norsat International)

Norsat International Inc., the Vancouver tech firm at the centre of duelling acquisition bids, says China-based Hytera Communications has matched a $67.3 million US 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 $11.25 US.

Although Hytera has now raised its offer to $11.50 US 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 Friday that its previously adjourned shareholders meeting will resume next Thursday in Richmond, B.C.

now