After receiving the three bids yesterday, the management called on the two highest bidders to raise their stakes, and decided for Hisense with the help of financial and legal advisers, the company said in a press release.
Hisense offered EUR 12 per share under the condition that it would be able to buy 50% plus one share in the company.
According to the Gorenje website, there were nearly 24.5 million Gorenje shares in late March, which means that Hisense is to pay about EUR 146.5m. The Gorenje share gained 6.58% o the Ljubljana stock market today, closing at EUR 6.80.
"The chosen bidder has obligated itself to issue an intent for takeover within 15 days at the latest, to be followed by a takeover bid to all shareholders within the legal deadline," Gorenje said.
Hisense was founded in 1969, starting out as a radio manufacturer only to become one of the biggest makers of TVs and household appliances in the world, employing about 75,000 people in over 20 subsidiaries worldwide.
The business newspaper Finance reported that all three binding bids came from China: from Haier, Hefei Meiling and Hisense Electric.
Quoting unofficial sources, the paper says that the second highest bid came from Haier: EUR 10 a share. Reportedly, Haier might still up its bid after Hisense issues the takeover bid.
Gorenje launched the procedure to find a strategic partner in early February, after Rothschild & Co. reached out to a number of companies specialising in household appliances and similar sectors to test the waters.
Gorenje's single biggest owner is the state-owned KAD fund (16.37%), followed by International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank group (11.8%), and Panasonic (10.74%). KAD will not sell its stake, as Gorenje is not slated for sale in the national strategy on asset management.
Panasonic has been thinking about increasing its stake in Gorenje recently but decided against it after a due diligence.