BCI revamp is last-ditch plan in bid defence

Blue Circle Industries, the cement producer fighting a £3.4bn hostile bid, is believed to be planning a radical restructuring as a last-ditch defence.

Last week the company put forward a further plank of its defence against the offer from Lafarge - new cost savings targets - but industry sources expect BCI to follow this up with a far-reaching restructuring proposal.

Analysts said BCI's defence has been competent and professional, but not sufficient to save it from the French predator. Simon Goodfellow, an analyst at ING Barings, said: "They've done a great job of showing their value, but that's not enough. Something else needs to be put on the table. They must know that."

Lafarge is not expected to succeed at the current level of its bid, in effect 409p as it will not paying BCI's final dividend. It is thought Lafarge will have to raise its bid to between 450p and 475p. At that level, BCI's institutional shareholders are likely to accept, in the absence of an alternative from BCI.

Analysts said that if BCI wants to stay independent, or wants an offer from Lafarge of more than 500p, it will have to construct an alternative itself. It is hampered by the lack of a rival bidder. Options include giving cash back to shareholders, a break-up, a merger or acquisition, or disposal.

Rick Haythornthwaite, BCI chief executive, has privately remarked that he has "an ace up my sleeve". There is talk that BCI is lining up a merger with Southdown, the US cement producer that has put itself up for sale. Cemex of Mexico, the world's third-largest cement player, has also been spoken of as a partner or buyer of BCI's attractive US assets.

An industry source said: "This savings document [presented last week] is what we were expecting on Day 39. The fact that they've brought this out now suggests that they've got something else to come."

After a bid is launched, Day 39 is the last date in the takeover timetable for the defence to offer new information. Lafarge's bid is now frozen as it awaits regulatory approval from the European Commission, expected by 12 April. Brussels is not expected to have major problems with the bid. Once approval is received the bid proceeds from Day 37. BCI is expected to deliver its restructuring plan on Day 39.

So far BCI's defence has consisted of presentations on its Asian assets, its UK property portfolio and the £116m of annual savings it believes it can achieve. Taken together, these presentations are reckoned to have demonstrated an extra 100p a share of value. What is at dispute is whether that 100p should be added to BCI's current share price - 422.25p at Friday's close - or its share price of 314.25p before the bid was launched in January.

BCI's position has been bolstered to some extent in recent weeks by the positive impact of its defence presentations and the market comeback "old economy" shares have made.

News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Swiss guards stand in the Sistine Chapel, which is to be lit, and protected, by 7,000 LEDs
art

The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs

Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?