First Leisure shares up on bid talk

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The Independent Online
SHARES IN First Leisure, the bingo, nightclubs and ten- pin bowling group chaired by Michael Grade, rose by almost 11 per cent yesterday following reports of a possible pounds 500m hostile bid for the company. Analysts said they expected First Leisure to slim its operations down but that there would be few takers for the low-growth bingo operations.

Whitbread and Vardon, two of the companies seen as potential bidders, are not thought to be interested, nor is Nomura, the Japanese bank that has pulled off a string of high profile deals. The shares closed 22p higher at 222.5p valuing the business at pounds 370m.