Bid battle breaks out for TLG

TLG, THE lightning company, was yesterday at the centre of a bid battle after Wassall, the mini-conglomerate, launched a pounds 351m cash bid, trumping a pounds 321m agreed offer from Cooper Industries of the US.

Wassall asked the TLG board to withdraw their recommendation for the Cooper bid and back the new offer. The DIY-to-furniture group revealed that it had built up a stake of 25.63 per cent in TLG after buying more than 10 per cent of its shares in a market blitz yesterday.

The offer from Wassall, which had been widely expected by the City, values each TLG share at 175p, 15p higher than Cooper's 160p offer and almost 60 per cent above TLG's closing price on 31 July, the last working day before the Cooper bid.

The US group said last night that it was "reviewing its options". It declined to say whether it would increase its offer. TLG, the maker of Thorn lighting products which was spun off from Thorn EMI in 1993, advised shareholders to take no action until Cooper's intentions are known.

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