TransDigm ends $8.7 billion bid battle with Parker for UK's Meggitt

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FILE PHOTO: A student at Meghan Markle's former Los Angeles high school wears British and American flags she takes part in a 'Here's to Meghan!' celebration ahead of her marriage to Prince Harry, as they celebrate at Immaculate Heart High School in Los Ang

By Yadarisa Shabong

(Reuters) -Aerospace parts maker TransDigm bowed out of an $8.7 billion takeover battle with fellow U.S. bidder Parker-Hannifin for Britain's Meggitt on Tuesday, wiping as much as 14% off British target's share price.

Meggitt, which had agreed a 6.3 billion pound ($8.7 billion) offer from Ohio-based Parker, saw some of the gains made in expectation of a bidding war wiped off its stock after TransDigm said it could not conclude a possible 900-pence-a-share bid.

Shares in Meggitt, which was approached by TransDigm last month and whose stock has gained nearly 80% since Parker's offer was made public in early August, were down 12% at 738 pence by 1306 GMT, below Parker's 800 pence-per-share bid.

TransDigm said it had decided not to proceed based on the "quite limited" due diligence information it had access to.

Meggitt said it gave TransDigm and Parker "equivalent access to both confirmatory due diligence information and management", adding that further information was provided to the suitors in response to a request from TransDigm.

Parker has made a series of commitments to the British government on jobs and security to seal its bid for Meggitt, which supplies wheels and brakes for civil jets as well as other components used in military aircraft.

TransDigm, which is also based in Ohio, had said it had reached a memorandum of understanding with Meggitt's pension plan trustees as well as communicated its commitments to the UK government "comparable" to those offered by Parker.

"However, consistent with our disciplined approach to capital allocation, we make acquisitions only when we see a clear path to achieving our investment return goals with a reasonable degree of certainty," it said in a statement.

The British government had said it was "closely monitoring" the proposed takeover of the Coventry-based company, which has set a Sept. 21 date for a shareholder vote on the Parker deal.

Meggitt said it continues to unanimously recommend Parker's offer to shareholders.

Shares in TransDigm rose marginally, while Parker's were up 0.7%, in premarket trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

London's stock market has seen several takeover battles in recent months, with supermarket Morrisons the most high profile target of a bidding war between two U.S. suitors.

($1 = 0.7257 pounds)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Alexander Smith)

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