UPDATE 3-DuPont extends Danisco offer after low uptake

* Extends $6 billion takeover bid to April 29

* Says bid acceptance level was about 6 pct on March 29

* Extension to give more time for EU and China clearances

* Analyst says low acceptance means deal hard to carry out

* Danisco shares flat

(Adds details, quotes, share price)

By Teis Jensen

COPENHAGEN, March 30 (Reuters) – U.S. chemicals group DuPont
(DD.N: Quote, Profile, Research) extended its $6 billion takeover bid for Danisco (DCO.CO: Quote, Profile, Research)
by four weeks after holders of only 6 percent of the Danish
company’s shares had accepted the offer.

DuPont said the offer was extended to April 29 to provide
more time to get regulatory approvals from China and the
European Union, the absence of which some say could be
restraining the offer uptake.

“As long as there is uncertainty about the competition
authorities, it is difficult to get shareholders’ final
acceptance, Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard said.”

As it stands, DuPont’s estimate of 6 percent acceptances up
to March 29 was far below the 90 percent acceptance level that
DuPont has required to carry out the deal and delist Danisco.

The extension of the 665 Danish crowns ($125.6) per share
offer for the Danish food ingredients and enzymes producer came
amid growing doubts about whether DuPont will be able to carry
out the deal following recent turbulence in the markets.

Analysts said this week that market turmoil in the wake of
crises in the Middle East and Japan would make DuPont
increasingly disinclined to raise its bid, while at the same
time many Danisco shareholders were holding out for more money.
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For a DEALTALK on DuPont’s Danisco deal, click on
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Acceptances of the bid crept up by only one percentage point
from the 5 percent acceptance level that DuPont announced the
previous time it extended the bid on Feb. 18.

DuPont said in the statement that the acceptance level was
“in line with similar past voluntary tender offers in Denmark at
this stage of the offer.”

But Alm. Brand analyst Michael Friis Jorgensen said: “The
acceptance level of 6 percent is only marginally higher than the
last time … and I think it suggests that it will be difficult
for them.”

“I think it indicates that it will be very difficult for
them at the current price to get acceptance of the offer,”
Jorgensen said.

KEEN ON DANISCO’S TECHNOLOGY

Shares in Danisco, which have hovered just below the bid
level since the deal was announced in January, were flat at 664
crowns at 1001 GMT, underperforming a 1.1 percent rise in the
Copenhagen bourse bluechip index (.OMXC20: Quote, Profile, Research).

DuPont has repeatedly said it will not raise its bid, which
was announced and recommended by Danisco’s board.

Two weeks ago, after Danisco reported forecast-beating
earnings for the third quarter and raised full-year guidance,
DuPont’s Chief Executive Ellen Kullman said the offer remained
“full, fair, and firm.” [ID:nLDE72F29W]

For the U.S. chemicals company, acquiring Danisco is part of
a push into a high-tech part of the food business and into
enzymes for, among other things, biofuels production, which is
seen as a growth sector.
Earlier this month, the head of DuPont’s nutrition and
biosciences unit told the Reuters Global Food and Agriculture
Summit that he was eager to start using Danisco’s expertise to
expand development of healthier foods. [ID:nN15277399]

DuPont reaffirmed on Wednesday it was still confident it
would get regulatory approval for the deal from China and the
European Union after earlier obtaining competition approval in
the United States.

“I think we will get clarity in the days running up to the
final offer deadline,” Sydbank’s Imsgard said.

The offer period would run until April 29 instead of April
1, and the result of the offer is expected to be published on
May 2, DuPont said in a statement.

The terms and conditions of the offer as set forth in the
offer document remained unchanged, DuPont added.
($1=5.294 Danish Crown)

(Additional reporting by Mette Fraende)
(Writing by John Acher; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter and Hans
Peters)

UPDATE 3-DuPont extends Danisco offer after low uptake