MILAN, Italy (June 26)—Manuli Rubber Industries S.p.A.'s board of directors is supporting a takeover bid launched by Manuli family-owned FINM S.p.A., which effectively will return the company to private ownership. The board deemed FINM's bid of $2.19 per share to be fair, the firm said. The advantages include greater flexibility for investment and strategic planning, "without the conditioning typically borne by listed companies," the group said in a statement. Manuli Rubber said it aims to pursue a policy of rationalization through acquisitions, mergers and/or divestments. Manuli Rubber is a multinational supplier of components for the automotive, hydraulic and oil and marine industries. It posted operating earnings of $57.4 million on consolidated sales of $328 million in 2002.