VIENNA - Creditanstalt, the bank that controls the Steyr operations in Austria, has delayed their sale to Magna International.
New interest from a group of German investors and Borg-Warner Automotive caused the bank to delay a decision from 10 March to 24 March.
The German investors sent a letter in late February expressing interest in Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG and Steyr-Fahrzeug-Technik AG. They made no offer, but hinted at paying a higher price than Magna had offered. Since then, Borg-Warner has expressed interest.
Creditanstalt has made no comment on details.
Magna, which is controlled by Austro-Canadian Frank Stronach, extended its offer from 13 March to 24 March. Magna also offered to switch its method of payment for Steyr, from class A Magna shares to convertible bonds. If Magna were to pay in shares, the bank would own 4 percent of Magna International. Steyr shares have risen continuously in March.
Sources say the German letter mentions a price for Magna of up to DM750 million ($410 million), although the exact nature of the offer would depend on an evaluation of the companies.
Magna had offered $270 million. The price Magna agreed to pay is three times the cash flow of Steyr in 1997. Business sources in Austria said a price of six times cash flow is more common.
The president of Creditanstalt, Erich Hampel, said he would only join talks with the new bidders after their offer and state of affairs had been thoroughly proven.
The German group calls itself GSM. Few details are known. One of its spokesmen is Franz-Josef Leibenfrost, a former Steyr manager.