Chairman of Spear relents: Board united in search for higher bid for Scrabble maker

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The Independent Online
THE BOARDROOM split at JW Spear has been healed, with Francis Spear, the chairman, coming into line and endorsing his co-directors' views that the takeover bids from Hasbro and Mattel undervalue the company, writes John Shepherd.

Mr Spear broke ranks last month when he said that a pounds 9-a-share offer made by Hasbro - maker of Sindy and Action Man dolls - for the manufacturer of the Scrabble boardgame was 'fair and reasonable'.

He then recommended a higher offer of pounds 10 a share from Mattel, owner of Fisher-Price toys and Barbie Dolls, which valued Spear at pounds 52m. The rest of the board welcomed Mattel's intervention.

Spear's rejection document, released yesterday, said: 'Francis Spear now endorses the views of the rest of the board.' The company is holding out for higher offers.

No talks are planned with Hasbro or Mattel. Paul Lipscomb, finance director, said: 'We are waiting to see the reaction to the rejection document.'

He confirmed discussions had been held and contacts maintained with other toy firms. .

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