Macmillan hits Cassell defence

PUBLISHERS Macmillan yesterday criticised "selective figures" in Cassell's defence document, reminding shareholders that Cassell's chief executive, John Sturrock, and his team paid 30 per cent of turnover when they bought Cassell in 1986. The fact that Macmillan is offering 31 per cent of current turnover is justified for a business that is "going nowhere", Macmillan said.

Macmillan's offer of 100p a share last week is a 122 per cent premium to the price just before the offer. The bid is about 22 times Cassell's historic earnings per share which, said Richard Charkin, chief executive of Macmillan, show little sign of rising. Cassell edged up 0.5p to 110p yesterday.