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RuggedCom adopts poison pill in wake of Belden bid

RuggedCom Inc. has adopted a poison pill shareholder rights plan to give its directors time to look for alternatives to an unsolicited $272.4-million takeover bid by Belden Inc. .

Belden's offer of $22 per share in cash was a 62-per-cent premium to RuggedCom's stock price prior to its announcement on Dec. 19.

But RuggedCom's stock rose above the Belden offer in the days after Belden's announcement, closing at $24.05 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday, giving the Toronto-area company a market cap of about $297.8-million.

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Trading of RuggedCom's stock will resume Wednesday for the first time since the four-day holiday weekend.

Headquartered in the Concord area of Vaughan, Ont., north of Toronto, RuggedCom designs and makes computers and communications networking technology designed for use in harsh environments such as electrical power substations, industrial facilities and military operations.

St. Louis-based Belden makes cable, connectivity and networking products for use in industrial, transportation, infrastructure and consumer electronics. It employs about 6,800 people.

RuggedCom's shareholder rights plan is a defence known as a poison pill. It will allow the board of directors to double the number of shares outstanding under certain circumstances.

The plan would be triggered if a person or company and its affiliates acquire 20 per cent or more of RuggedCom's outstanding stock. The rights plan is scheduled to expire June 23.

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