Attwoods scorns BFI takeover bid

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ATTWOODS, the waste management company, yesterday fired off its defence document against the pounds 364m hostile bid from Browning Ferris Industries of the US.

Attwoods' chief executive, Ken Foreman, said the bid was 'a thinly veiled attempt to seduce shareholders into donating to BFI the benefits of Attwoods' recovery'.

Revealing a fall in annual taxable profits on continuing operations to pounds 9.1m ( pounds 33.1m), Mr Foreman said: 'We are past the low point . . . with a costly restructuring and reorganisation behind us.'

The latest figures were struck after a pounds 12.3m exceptional charge, arising from the costs of restructuring and settlement of legal actions. Mr Foreman said even based on Attwoods' reduced 1994 profits the bid was 40.9 per cent lower than the average revenue multiple in the waste management sector and 27.3 per cent lower than the average cash flow multiple.

BFI, whose 109p-a-share cash bid compares with an Attwoods market price yesterday of 115p, up 1p, dismissed the defence as 'long on bluster but short on supportive facts'.

Greg Muldoon, senior vice-president, said the latest results showed net profits and operating margins down and a dividend paid out of reserves for the second year running.

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