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U.S. grain handler rejects HC2 Holdings' $1 billion takeover bid

U.S. grain handler Andersons Inc on Wednesday rejected a $1 billion all-cash takeover offer from HC2 Holdings Inc, calling the bid "opportunistic." Andersons' shares were up 24.9 percent at $32.40 in premarket trading. They rose to a high of $35....

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Wheat and money. zoran simin/iStockphoto.com

U.S. grain handler Andersons Inc on Wednesday rejected a $1 billion all-cash takeover offer from HC2 Holdings Inc, calling the bid "opportunistic."

Andersons' shares were up 24.9 percent at $32.40 in premarket trading. They rose to a high of $35.04, short of the offer price of $37.

"We believe HC2's proposals ignore our value and prospects as a standalone entity and represent an opportunistic attempt to acquire the company at a low point in the industry cycle," Chairman Mike Anderson said in a statement.

HC2 Holdings, a company run by former hedge fund manager Philip Falcone, offered $35 per share in January, Andersons said.

Andersons' new chief executive, Patrick Bowe, told Reuters in an interview on Monday that the company was not looking to be acquired.

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HC2, a diversified holding company, said on Tuesday it would also assume $402 million of Andersons' debt.

HC2 said as an alternative to acquiring Andersons it was willing to buy the company's grain and rail businesses for $950 million. The company, which holds a stake in Andersons, also said it would make stalking horse bids for each of Andersons' remaining assets.

A "stalking horse" bid is used as a starting bid or minimally accepted offer that other interested bidders must surpass if they want to buy the company.

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