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Macquarie Wins Control of Techem in $2.13 Billion Deal

Australian bank Macquarie finally won control of Techem in a deal with major shareholders worth about 1.48 billion euros ($2.13 billion) after raising its offer for the German metering company.

"As a consequence of this parallel purchase, the takeover offer...to all shareholders of Techem rises to 60 euros per share," Macquarie said in a statement on Wednesday.

The bank had earlier offered 58 euros a share, or around 1.43 billion euros ($2.06 billion) in cash, for Techem, whose shares closed on Tuesday at 58.88 euros.

It was its third approach to Techem within a year.

Macquarie's initial bid of 44 euros a share for the German company in October 2006 was topped by a 52 euro-a-share bid from BC Partners, leading Macquarie to increase its bid to 55 euros and then 58 euros.

It had agreed at one stage to share control of the metering company with BC Partners but nonetheless had to admit defeat in February, when it failed to reach the minimum 70.5 percent acceptance rate it had set.

Macquarie manages about A$200 billion globally and has been buying infrastructure assets such as water companies in Britain and warehouses in Germany as decade-long investments for its pension funds.

The bank, Australia's largest investment bank, acquires toll roads, airports, power and water utilities, bundles them into listed and unlisted funds and charges fees for managing them.

Techem had been caught in a struggle between Macquarie, hedge funds and other investors that sought to buy the company.

Techem, founded in 1952, reads meters and helps companies manage their energy supply. It generated earnings before interest and taxes of 106.4 million euros in its fiscal year to end-September 2006 on sales of 523 million euros.