Advisers to Emerson and Astec meet

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The Independent Online
ADVISERS to Emerson Electric, the US giant trying to take control of Astec (BSR), the electronics group, have held talks with advisers to the company's independent directors in an attempt to reach a compromise.

Morgan Grenfell, Emerson's advisers, met with SBC Warburg, representing Astec, last week to discuss in what circumstances the company's independent directors would agree to a bid. Emerson, which holds a 51 per cent stake in Astec, previously indicated it was ready to offer 111p per Astec share for the 49 per cent of the company it does not own, but this was rejected.

Peter Marshall, one of the independent directors, said the talks were routine and had produced no tangible result.

Meanwhile, Astec's independent shareholders are today expected to launch their long-awaited legal action against Emerson when they lodge a petition at the High Court, accusing the US firm of unfair prejudice.