Albert Fisher bid talks collapse
Though Albert Fisher had never disclosed the identity of the bidder the market had always assumed it was American banana group Chiquita. The talks, which were first revealed in June, are understood too have foundered on disagreements over the price Chiquita was willing to pay. Consequently, Albert Fisher said it had not felt able to recommend the offer to shareholders.
Albert Fisher shares slumped 4.75p to 38.75p on the news as analysts rushed to downgrade their profit forecasts and break-up values of the sprawling group run by Stephen Walls.
The company said it has completed a review of its strategy, though it will not announce the details until later this month. It is expected to sell its seafood business, which is thought to be worth around pounds 90m. The proceeds will fund a share buy-back or special dividend worth more than pounds 100m. Other peripheral businesses are also expected to be sold.
Analysts said the disposal of the volatile seafood business, which has been hit recently by poor cockle harvests, would make the group a more attractive break-up target. Analysts are pencilling a possible break-up value of 47p per share. Most say a takeover of the whole group is unlikely as Albert Fisher retains too many poor businesses in commodity markets.
One food analyst said: "It's very disappointing. We were hoping this company's days were numbered."
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
Emergency landing at Heathrow sparks further controversy over London airport capacity
Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
Men arrested after RAF jet is scrambled to escort Pakistan Airlines passenger plane to London Stansted Airport
- 1 Liam Gallagher slams Daft Punk: 'I could have written Get Lucky in an hour'
- 2 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 3 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.