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Bid details haunt SCI advisers

THE aftermath of the battle for control of Great Southern, the funerals operator, is set to become more acrimonious than the bid itself, with advisers squabbling over who was to blame for the omission of a crucial phrase in a bid statement from SCI, the Texan company, writes Tom Stevenson.

Schroders, the merchant bank, and Linklaters & Paines, the law firm, are at the centre of the row, which stems from the failure of a statement by SCI, sent to the Stock Exchange last week, to spell out the circumstances in which a final bid from the Texan group could be increased.

After Bill Heiligbrodt, SCI chairman, discovered the error, he immediately offered to compensate shareholders who sold out early. The Takeover Panel is expected to accept that the offer of compensation is in the best interests of shareholders and wave the bid through. It is still not clear, however, who will pay the pounds 3.7m compensation to shareholders.