Derek Pain: Russian magnate might attract a realistic sum for me to unload SnackTime

No Pain, No Gain

Stake building is a common but often intriguing occurrence in the stock market. Sometimes it is merely a City institution creating a holding. On other occasions, when a businessman or a company starts gathering shares in an unsuspecting target, the motive could be more ambitious such as seeking a behavioural influence or the prelude to mounting a full-scale – possibly hostile – takeover bid.

In the former category Henderson Global Investors has established a 17.3 per cent interest in ISDX-traded and former no pain, no gain portfolio constituent Chapel Down, the English wine producer. As an example of a stake being accumulated prior to bid action look no farther than Markerstudy's 11.4 per cent involvement in portfolio member, Brightside where takeover talks took place.

Just how to categorise a flamboyant display of stake building in SnackTime, the vending group, is far from easy. My guess – and it is only a guess – is that the share manoeuvres could well lead to bid action.

Behind the buying is Boris Belotserkovsky, reputed to be a billionaire businessman. He is said to be the major distributor of gaming equipment in Russia and also embraces vending interests. His involvement in SnackTime, by far the biggest loser in the portfolio, first materialised in July when he emerged with a near 4 per cent stake.

His interest, as I write, has climbed to 7.6 per cent. The buying pushed the bedraggled shares to 18p. They are now around 15p, capitalising the struggling company at a mere £2.5m. The portfolio paid 119p a share four years ago and I watched happily as the price neared 200p. As I have said many times since then I should have sold but a blinkered attitude hoping the group's performance would improve kept the portfolio on board.

With the shares so low it is hardly worth selling; my hope is that they will rally sufficiently to make any unloading produce a realistic sum.

It may be in response to the hovering of the Russian gaming magnate that SnackTime made a statement saying it "has been made aware" that Vendia Groep has a 29.96 per cent interest that is subject to a lock in for 60 per cent of the holding. However, the arrangement expires on Monday, a development that could tempt Mr Belotserkovsky into action.

From poor relation to the star of the portfolio – Booker, the cash and carry chain. It has produced another impressive performance. Aided by the recent summery weather, half-year sales rose by 16.5 per cent. Such a display included the Makro acquisition where the "turnaround is progressing well". Stripped of the Makro influence Booker sales advanced 2.3 per cent.

The wholesaler continues its expansion in India where it opened two more branches and now has six in the sub continent.

Avation, the aircraft-leasing group has, in active trading, reached 100p. A buy back of 150,000 shares at 94p accounted for a minor slice of the share action. The group, which has leased another aircraft to Virgin Australia Regional Airlines, has attracted further interest from Slater Investments, run by Mark Slater, son of the legendary Jim. It has been a shareholder for some time and has recently lifted its stake to 5.74 per cent, but another fund sold shares.

Finally Brightside, the insurance group that ended talks with Markerstudy, with which it has trading links . It seems the bidder's appearance made life difficult and a downbeat interim statement shows pre-tax profits of £7.5m against £8.2m. Last year the group achieved £17.5m but Martyn Holman, who is likely to end his reign as chief executive, says year's profits could be down by 15 to 20 per cent. He adds the board is "realistic" about second-half profits but optimistic about next year and beyond. The interim dividend stays at 0.22p a share.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

    Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

    £40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

    SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

    £22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

    Day In a Page

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map