GEC's offer endorsed: Takeover Panel thwarts Ferranti shareholders

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The Independent Online
THE Takeover Panel has endorsed GEC's offer document for Ferranti. It follows complaints from a Ferranti shareholders action group that the document, prepared by SG Warburg, lacks vital information.

John Katz, chairman of the action group, said he was deeply disappointed by the panel's decision. He planned to raise the matter on 8 December when shareholders gather to vote on whether to accept GEC's token 1p a share offer.

Mr Katz had complained that the document did not consider administration as an alternative to a takeover or receivership. He also said it should have contained more details on the defence electronics company's potential value, especially information on the company's intangible assets.

'Shareholders need this information if they are to make an informed decision on which way to vote,' Mr Katz said.

As reported in the Independent yesterday, Ferranti's 15 banks had already been approached about whether they would consider placing the company in administration. The answer was no.

Ferranti has written to shareholders to boost support for the offer. It says the deteriorating order book means cash flow is critical. It adds that Ferranti's value lies in its employees and intellectual property, which would be destroyed by receivership.

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