October 3, 2019 / 6:05 AM / 15 days ago

UPDATE 1-Alpiq buyers' 89.94% stake misses squeezeout threshold

(Adds details, background)

ZURICH, Oct 3 (Reuters) - A buyer group seeking to take Swiss utility Alpiq private holds 89.94% of the shares, shy of the level necessary to force a squeezeout of minority shareholders who have criticized the 70 Swiss franc per share tender offer.

While the buyer group is likely to eventually be able to complete the transaction, analysts from Zuercher Kantonalbank have said, the final price for the stock is again open.

Shares of Alpiq closed at 70.2 francs on Wednesday.

The original offer values Alpiq at nearly 2 billion Swiss francs ($2.01 billion).

Activist investor Knight Vinke said in August it wants Alpiq to stop its delisting and the squeezeout, arguing the offer for the utility's shares "massively undervalues" the company.

Florida-based Merion Capital has nearly 5.5% of the shares, according to a filing on Thursday on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

The buyer's group said it remains committed to its delisting ambitions.

"The Schweizer Kraftwerksbeteiligungs AG and the persons acting in concert with SKBAG with respect to the purchase offer...strive for the delisting of Alpiq shares from the SIX Swiss Exchange immediately after the completion of the purchase offer," according to a statement from Credit Suisse on Thursday, adding completion is set for Oct. 9, unless it is postponed.

The final days of the buyout offer have been marked by miscues, as Alpiq was forced on Monday to correct a notification regarding the provisional final result for the shares, in which it was mistakenly reported that the buyer coalition held 93.51%.

$1 = 0.9974 Swiss francs Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields

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