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Kingfisher in pounds 47m move for VCI

KINGFISHER, the retail giant which owns Woolworths and B&Q, yesterday raised the stakes in the battle for control of VCI by tabling a pounds 46.8m bid for the video reproduction group. The 120p-a-share offer is 40p higher than an earlier bid for the company from Scottish Media Group. "The acquisition of VCI will accelerate our strategy for growth in the rapidly expanding home entertainment business," a Kingfisher spokesman said.

The board of VCI, which had backed SMG's offer, recommended its shareholders to take no action until the television company decided whether to raise its bid. VCI shares closed up 12p at 119.5p.