Courtaulds shares traded unchanged at 470.5p, higher than the 450p-a- share offer pitched by Akzo, the Netherlands' biggest chemical company, indicating that investors feel a higher offer will be made. Analysts said they expected a bidding war to develop. Courtaulds yesterday said pre- tax profits for the year had fallen to pounds 105m from pounds 134m.
COURTAULDS' chief executive, Gordon Campbell, yesterday confirmed that the board had been approached by PPG Industries, but added that as yet no offer had been received and it was not possible to determine whether this approach would lead to a firm offer. The chemical company, which has accepted a pounds 2.26bn takeover bid from Akzo Nobel NV, said that it was not planning a final dividend in light of the situation, but it said it would pay an unchanged 11.95p if the Akzo offer lapsed.