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.
Malaysia Airlines plane crash exposes alarming flaw in airline security: over one billion flights made last year without stolen-passport check
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Oil slicks in South China Sea ‘not from missing jet’, officials say
Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete throws up as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's autopsy
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote in North Korean elections
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£55000 - £70000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: In-House Corporat...
£80000 - £100000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: In-House Opportu...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Mixed Ta...