Bid for Provend

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Bid for Provend

BUNZL, the services and distribution group, yesterday moved to strengthen its support services division by launching a pounds 28.5m bid for Provend, the company which manages vending machines.

Bunzl's offer, which values Provend shares at 165p each, has been accepted by shareholders and directors representing 49 per cent of Provend's share capital.

The move came as the effect of acquisitions made in 1997 helped lift Bunzl's underlying pre-tax profits for 1998 by 7 per cent to pounds 132.3m.