Danish ratkiller shows its hand
Saturday 17 February 1996
Rentokil has an unusual shareholding structure in that it is a quoted minority of an overseas company, Sophus Berendsen of Denmark, which owns 52 per cent. Sophus invested pounds 2,000 in the late 1920s in a company called the British Ratin Company which subsequently bought Rentokil in 1957. Rentokil is now an FT-SE 100 stock and worth pounds 3.3bn.
Rentokil likes to see itself as an autonomous unit, and the Danes as nothing more than a large institutional shareholder. The Danes prefer to regard Rentokil as a subsidiary, albeit one that can be left alone while it continues to grow earnings.
Analysts at UBS, the investment bank, recently reprinted part of the initial offering prospectus for Rentokil's flotation in 1969, which traces the history of the relationship.
Rentokil is a subsidiary of Sophus Berendsen, a private company incorporated in Denmark in 1897. Sophus is a leading import agency company in Denmark, particularly for a number of prominent British companies.
In 1904, Sophus acquired distribution rights for a bacterial rodenticide named Ratin which was on sale in the UK from 1906. The trade developed and in 1927 the company was incorporated under the name the British Ratin Company.
In 1929 a significant change in policy occurred whereby the emphasis was placed on the provision of a service for rodent control, as distinct from the sale of rodenticides.
By 1931, local offices had been established. In 1957 the company acquired Rentokil, then a leader in making and providing services for dry rot and woodworm control.
- 1 Universities aren't working us hard enough, say undergraduates
- 2 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Oscar Pistorius terrorised Reeva before he shot her dead, says June Steenkamp
Audacious North Korean kidnap plot foiled at Paris airport as 'Asian men' attempted to bundle student onto plane
Heroin to be prescribed to Canadian addicts by doctors
Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby – through the stories of his accusers
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
iJobs Money & Business
$80000 - $110000 per annum, Benefits: Bonus and Employee Investment Scheme: Se...
€30000 - €50000 per annum, Benefits: Competitive Bonus: Selby Jennings: Java D...
$60000 - $90000 per annum, Benefits: Competitive Bonus and Employee Investment ...
circa 65,000 EUR + Bonus + Benefits: Selby Jennings: Recruiting a Sales Associ...