Norway’s Q-Free says won’t talk with suitor Kapsch

OSLO, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Norwegian road-toll technology company Q-Free said on Monday it has refused to talk with potential suitor Austrian rival Kapsch TrafficCom until Kapsch agrees to stop trading its shares.

Kapsch bought 20.4 percent of Q-Free’s stock on Jan 16. at 10 crowns per share — a move Q-Free called ‘unfriendly’. Q-Free has since refused Kapsch’ request for talks, and retained brokerage SEB Enskilda to advise it.

‘We’d be happy to enter a dialogue, but first we want a ‘stand-still’ agreement to limit trade in our shares,’ Q-Free Chief Executive Oyvind Isaksen told Reuters.

Shares in Q-Free rose 8.3 percent to 13.00 crowns by 1131 GMT on Monday after Q-Free announced a contract for delivery of a GPS based truck tolling system in Slovakia with a value of around 50 million euros ($65 million).

Its shares are up 44 percent since before Kapsch’ share purchase.

Isaksen said Q-Free had competed with a Kapsch consortium for the Slovakia project as well as others in recent monhts. He said the road tolling market faced large opportunities ahead.

‘We are working on lots of projects. Market activity is really high,’ Isaksen said.

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