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Laporte gains control of Inspec

Laporte, the chemicals group, has secured an agreed deal to buy speciality chemicals group Inspec for pounds 611m. The 340p per share cash offer has been accepted by Inspec's directors with 4 per cent of the share capital. As a result of aggressive share buying in the market Laporte now controls an additional 26 per cent of its target.

The price represents a 40 per cent premium to the closing price of Inspec share on 3 August, the last day of dealings before Laporte announced it was in talks that may lead to a deal.

Laporte expects to generate pounds 8m-pounds 10m a year in cost savings though it would not comment on the possible level of job losses. It will take provision of pounds 20m to cover the cost of the integration over the next 18 months.

Inspec's chairman Dr John Hollowood will become non-executive director of Laporte. Gary Corsi, Inspec's finance director will leave with shares valued at pounds 2.5m.

Laporte yesterday reported flat first half profits of pounds 66.8m hit by the strong pound and the Asian crisis.

Inspec shares closed a penny higher at 333.5p. Laporte's shares fell 15.5p to 640.5p.