Bullers shares leap on Slater involvement

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The Independent Online
SHARES in Bullers, the giftware, meat processing and film finishing group, jumped 3.25p to 16.75p yesterday after the company said it had placed 4.4 million shares with a group of investors including Jim Slater, the former head of Slater Walker Securities, writes Tom Stevenson.

The shares, representing 10 per cent of the company, were placed at 11.7p, raising pounds 520,000, which Bullers said would be used to reduce debt and provide working capital.

Mr Slater now holds 3.99 per cent of the formerly struggling company, which staged a balance sheet restructuring in February under David Cunningham, the former corporate financier who is now chairman.

According to a forecast of profits from Rowe & Dartington, the stockbroker, the placing was made on a prospective p/e of 4. Other shareholders include clients of Slater Investments, the investment management company set up by Mr Slater's son Mark in April.

Slater Investments has dollars 20m under management for two funds and wealthy individuals.

At the time of Bullers' restructuring it acquired the film processing group Wiseman. It also bought Robinsons, a meat processing business, for pounds 1 shortly before receivers were due to be called in to the company. After an injection of pounds 140,000 Robinsons is now expected to make pounds 100,000 profit in its first year.

The company is expected to make further acquisitions following the injection of new money from the Slater funds.

The restructuring of Bullers is understood to have broken at least one record, as it included a share consolidation that replaced 1,000 old shares with one new unit.