Brandon share sale triggers 5.7m pounds bid

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The Independent Online
COLIN Stone, founder, managing director and finance director of Brandon Hire, the building equipment rental group, has resigned and sold his 21 per cent stake in the USM-listed firm.

The sale has triggered a takeover bid from John Laycock, who bought Mr Stone's holding and will replace him, becoming chief executive.

Mr Laycock is also selling his privately owned firm, JSL Fasteners, to Brandon for pounds 2m in shares. Since he will eventually hold 42 per cent of Brandon, he has to make an offer to all shareholders. The offer price is 55p, valuing the company at pounds 5.7m. Mr Stone will receive pounds 1.2m in the deal.

Brian Nathan, chairman, urged shareholders not to accept. 'It would be a great shame to grab what is on the table now when the potential is so enormous.'

Mr Stone and the re-formed management team had disagreed about future strategy. The company said yesterday that most directors favoured expansion. 'Colin Stone has indicated that these plans are not consistent with his personal ambitions and wishes.'

He will receive pounds 157,500 in compensation - pounds 43,500 for loss of office, pounds 46,000 for agreeing not to set up a rival business within five years and pounds 68,000 in pension scheme contributions.

The shares were floated on the USM in September 1989 at 80p but have never traded above the issue price. Yesterday they rose from 53p to 60p.

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