BPB pulls out of £708m US bid
BPB's $48.50 offer for National, launched in February, was trumped yesterday by Delcor, a subsidiary of Golden Eagle, a company controlled by former National Gypsum chairman Dick Spangler.
Jean-Pierre Cuny, BPB's chief executive, said it would not be in the best interests of shareholders to attempt to match Delcor's $54 bid, which valued National at $1.2bn.
"We said all along that we would not buy National at any price, but obviously we are disappointed. The US is the world's largest market for plasterboard and we cannot ignore it," he said.
The reaction of the stock market reflected concerns about National's possible exposure to asbestosis claims. Observers also warned that the acquisition was badly timed, within two years of the peak of the US building cycle.
A trust created to deal with $700m of outstanding asbestosis claims dating from the 1970s has been seeking more funds from National. In March BPB said that National had settled litigation by agreeing to pay a further $125m into the trust, but the market remained sceptical.
BPB has a reputation for being well-managed, soundly financed and well- placed with a 50 per cent share of the European market for plasterboard and a foothold in the giant North American market through its Canadian subsidiary Westroc.
The company survived a vicious price war in the early part of the decade as Knauf of Germany, Lafarge Coppee of France and BPB fought for European dominance, and shareholders were beginning to enjoy the fruits of a cessation of hostilities. Having bottomed out at £38m in 1992, profits of £205m by next year were being forecast by analysts.
Mr Cuny said yesterday that the search for acquisitions would continue.
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
- 1 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
Kim Jong-un 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
iJobs Money & Business
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious asset management house seeks a...
£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: This is a varied role focusing on the firm's mutua...
£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...
£25000 - £37000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you seeking to furth...