City File: Waiting Game

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The Independent Online
This time John Newman and Nick Shipp really do have to get it right. Twice this year the ex- Hanson pair at the mini-conglomerate TT have failed to fulfil takeover threats, taking stakes in both Renold and ML Holdings without a follow- through. Last week TT bought another 1 per cent of another potential target, AB Electronics, to give Newman and Shipp 7.41 per cent of the loss-making components manufacturer following AB's willingness to discuss a bid.

The market just shrugged, marking the target's shares down 9p to 81p, giving it a value of a mere pounds 25m. For once the market could be too cynical - AB's shares were near 400p in its heyday four years ago and TT needs to make sure that any bid is generous enough to be successful and remove the taint of futility hanging over the Hanson boys.