Pardus denies it wants Valeo-Visteon link-up

By From www.autonews.com| May 04 2007
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PARIS (Reuters) -- U.S. investment fund Pardus denied today a claim by Valeo its main aim behind a 13 percent stake in the French car parts group was to engineer a link-up with U.S. peer Visteon.

"Pardus has repeatedly told Valeo that it views the acquisition of some or all of Visteon as only one of many strategic alternatives available to Valeo," Pardus said in a statement, the second this month as the fund and the company head for a standoff at the May 21 annual meeting.

"Valeo management continues to misstate Pardus' strategic view by feeding rumors and allegations that Pardus strategy is a link-up with Visteon."

The fund said it had watered down an original proposal to name two Pardus representatives and six independent directors to the Valeo board to two representatives and one independent director. It repeated it was willing to agree a standstill agreement at 20 percent share ownership.

"Two plus one is still disproportionate to their shareholding," a Valeo spokeswoman said in reaction.

Pardus has a 17 percent stake in Visteon.

Valeo last year studied acquiring Visteon but the board decided against it.

The French group is in talks with several investment funds about a possible buyout bid but Chairman and CEO Thierry Morin said last week there was no firm bid on the table.

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