Sepura fears financial backlash as Germany and Spain delay acquisition
Shares in Cambridge commstech business Sepura began falling after a warning that delays in winning approval for a £74 million takeover by Chinese corporation Hytera could impact the UK company’s results for the financial year.
Sepura’s interim CEO David Barrass told shareholders who approved the deal recently that the companies wanted to wrap up the deal mid-March – but that timing looks optimistic as they continue talks with antitrust authorities in Germany and Spain.
While approval could be approved in Spain by early March, the process in Germany could take three months or more.
Based on Sepura's and Hytera's discussions with the German Bundeskartellamt, the companies believe the authority will initiate a Phase II investigation in respect of the acquisition.
While the exact length of that investigation remains unclear, the full statutory period for such a process is a further three months and the German authority has the right to make further extensions to that timeframe.
Sepura and Hytera have also made a filing in Spain under the Spanish merger control regime to the National Markets and Competition Commission. A decision of the on-going Phase I review process is expected on or before March 9.
The companies jointly announced that while they continued to engage with both authorities, the timing for the antitrust clearance process to be completed remained uncertain.
Sepura said it was now doubtful that a UK court hearing to sanction the deal will be held in early to mid-March as previously expected.
It added ominously: “Increased uncertainty as to timing may also impact Sepura's results for the financial year.”