Candover slips as buyout market turns quiet

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CANDOVER Investments, the management buyout specialist, saw pre-tax profits fall from pounds 4.1m to pounds 3.3m in the financial year ended last December in what the group has described as a relatively quiet trading period, writes John Moore.

Roger Brooke, chairman, predicts that many companies will be rationalising their interests and disposing of businesses that do not fit with their core activities.

'We should find that the next few years will combine the benefits of good investment opportunities and an economic climate which should favour the development of British companies,' he said.

Total net assets of the group have grown from pounds 59.8m to pounds 69.4m. 'The profits of many of our investee companies have benefited sufficiently from the improved economic environment to enable them to plan a listing for their shares this year or next,' Mr Brooke said.

Midland Independent Newspapers, a buyout arranged by Candover in 1991, was the first company to achieve this in 1994. 'Several others should follow this year and next,' Mr Brooke said.

The group is paying a final dividend of 7.05p, an increase of 8.5 per cent, making a total of 11p (10.25p) for the year.