Crabtree poised to fall to pounds 9.5m bid

CRABTREE, a Tyneside-based engineer, looked set to fall into German hands yesterday as it emerged that Stuttgart-based LTG Technologies was considering a pounds 9.5m all-paper bid, writes Francesco Guerrera.

LTG may table a bid as early as this week after it secured the agreement of a major shareholder in Crabtree. The German company said Odey Asset Management, which yesterday acquired 14.9 per cent of Crabtree, had agreed to accept LTG's paper in the event of an offer.

The spokesman said there were clear synergies in bringing Crabtree and LTG together. Crabtree designs, makes and installs printing, coating and sheet handling equipment.

Crabtree said on Tuesday that it was in talks that might lead to an offer of at least 46p per share. The shares closed on Friday at a year-low of 42.5p. They reached 81.5p early in the year. Last year the company reported sales of pounds 52.3m and pre-tax profits of 109,000.

LTG has announced its intention to become the first German company to float on London's junior Alternative Investment Market.