Dispute over future of Manders site

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MANDERS, fighting a pounds 93m takeover bid from the rival paint group Kalon, yesterday insisted it had no plans to close its Windeck factory at Bingley, Yorkshire.

Local opinion has been aroused by Kalon stating it would close the factory. But a report from James Capel at the weekend questions the purpose of a pounds 779,000 provision against Windeck in Manders' 1991 accounts.

Tim Steer, a Capel analyst, says his firm was first told by Manders that the provision was set up to cover the closure of Windeck and the transfer of work to the company's Wolverhampton site.

Manders later told Capel that the provision was not for the closure of Windeck but for a new roof and the underpinning of foundations. Mr Steer questions whether such expenditure should be included in a provision.

A Manders spokesman conceded yesterday that closure had been an option for Windeck when it was bought late last year but said a decision had since been made to invest in the factory.