HARTFORD, Conn., and NORTH CANTON, Ohio (3/31/08)--The company that was rejected in its unsolicited takeover proposal of ATM manufacturer Diebold Inc. says it has acquired 3.5% of Diebold's shares and plans to gather more. United Technologies Corp. (UTC), based in Connecticut, announced Thursday it holds 2.28 million shares of the outstanding common shares of Diebold and believes it is Diebold's sixth-largest shareowner. At the time UTC approached Diebold with its takeover proposal, UTC owned 1.6 million of Diebold's shares. Earlier this month UTC proposed a $40 per share cash offer for all outstanding shares of Diebold, a 66% premium to Diebold's trading price. Diebold's directors rejected the proposal, but UTC remains committed to the offer, according to Jim Geisler, vice president, finance at UTC. Diebold immediately responded with its own press release. "The announcement does not change Diebold's belief that UTC's $40 per share offer significantly undervalues the company and does not reflect significant progress against current strategic initiatives and Diebold's previously disclosed $100 million cost reduction program," Diebold said. UTC's assertions that the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has notified Diebold it is at risk of delisting due to the failure to file timely financial statements are "highly misleading," said Diebold. "Diebold does not believe it faces any threat of delisting until at least Sept. 17, 2008, at which time the NYSE, at its discretion, can grant an extension for an additional six months." Diebold anticipates its financial review will be completed by the end of second quarter, and it will make all appropriate filings as soon as possible thereafter, said the release. Use the links for more information.