Henlys attacks bid from Cowie

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HENLYS, the car dealer and bus-fitter facing a pounds 27m hostile bid from Newcastle-based T Cowie, has accused its attacker of using an inflated share price to acquire Henlys on the cheap, writes Robert Cole.

Michael Doherty, Henlys chairman, told shareholders in its defence document published yesterday: 'Cowie has timed its offer to take advantage of a peak in its share price at a time when the Henlys bus and coach division has been severely affected by the recession.'

Henlys has said it will make a pounds 900,000 loss in the six months to 30 June, compared to a loss of pounds 4.5m last time. It also promises to pay a maintained interim dividend of 1p.

Institutional investors and City analysts predict Cowie will not succeed in its all-share offer in its current form. Improved terms and cash are required, they believe.