Forte seeks Lillywhites sale lifeline
Sunday 03 December 1995
Although the written approach from Jeromino Martins arrived before Granada's pounds 3.3bn hostile takeover offer, the disposal will help Sir Rocco Forte fight off the unwelcome bid.
"Lillywhites, having undergone a period of rebuilding, is now at a stage when its full value can be realised," said Keith Hamill, Forte's finance director.
The sale brings the value of Forte's disposal programme in the last two years to pounds 900m as it struggles to rationalise its holdings in its core hotel and restaurant businesses. Among other businesses, it has sold off Harvester and Gardner Merchant. Forte is expected to use the Lillywhites proceeds to further reduce gearing.
The sprawling, unfocused nature of the Forte group was one of the main criticisms levelled by Granada chairman Gerry Robinson when he announced his bid two weeks ago.
The sporting goods chain has net assets of pounds 12m and a reported a turnover of pounds 16.6m in the last year. Forte bought it in 1963 and invested heavily to refurbish it in 1992. The retailer carries 70,000 different lines covering 35 sports.
Forte, which bills Lillywhites' Piccadilly Circus flagship store as "The World's Finest Sport Store", recently opened a new outlet at the Lakeside Shopping Centre at Thurrock.
Jeromino Martins, a fast-growing listed company, is expected to operate Lillywhites as a separate business and to expand it domestically and internationally. The deal is expected to be closed this week.
- 1 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 2 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 3 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
- 5 The jihadi girls who went to Syria weren't just radicalised by Isis — they were groomed
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how Corporation is funded
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...