Americans snap up further 3.2% of Sweb
Wednesday 02 August 1995
SEI's pounds 9a-share offer for Sweb, valuing the company at pounds 1bn, was launched on 13 July after a dawn raid in which the US group bought 11.2 per cent of the shares, also at pounds 9 a share.
Investors are thought to have sold yesterday on continued speculation that this or any other bid in the sector might be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
In a document issued yesterday, Professor Stephen Littlechild the industry regulator, warned that mergers and acquisitions could have implications for competition, protection of consumers and his ability to regulate. He is consulting on Sweb and two other bids in the sector: a pounds 1bn hostile takeover attempt by Scottish Power for Manweb and an agreed pounds 2.5bn offer by Hanson for Eastern Electricity, announced on Monday.
Sweb's share price fell 6p to close last night at 899p while Manweb's was down 7p at 868p. Eastern Electricity shares edged down a penny to 908p.
Professor Littlechild said that, in relation to the Hanson bid, "in my view additional measures would be necessary to provide continued protection to customers and to maintain regulatory effectiveness". He has asked for comments from interested parties by 11 August.
The Hanson takeover of Eastern is conditional on the bid not being referred by the Government to the MMC and on "indications" from Professor Littlechild that he will not impose unwanted licence changes on Eastern or "seek undertakings" from the company.
The regulator had called for an earlier bid for Northern Electric by Trafalgar House to be referred to the MMC but was subsequently overruled by Michael Heseltine, then President of the Board of Trade.
On Monday, Professor Littlechild said he would look for "binding undertakings" from the group that he would be given all the information he needed to regulate the core electricity businesses effectively.
He also said he wanted guarantees of ring-fencing of the core business and separate accounting, as well as assurances that adequate resources would be made available to the supply and distribution arms.
In a separate development, small investors in Manweb hit out against the attack by Scottish Power, voting against changes in the company's articles that limit any shareholder from holding more than 15 per cent of the company.
The "inconclusive" show of hands at the annual meeting forced management into a poll, but the change was carried by the millions of proxy votes held by the board.
John Roberts, Manweb's chief executive, said the company did not need to hide behind a15 per cent limit to fend off the pounds 9.15-a-share bid. But he viewed the rebellion as a "tremendous" show of support.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
iJobs Money & Business
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...