C&M 'still eyeing' Tay Homes but drops offer

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The Independent Online

Country & Metropolitan, the property developer that has been courting Tay Homes, intends to re-bid for the housebuilder despite yesterday withdrawing its £31m takeover offer.

Stephen Wicks, C&M's chief executive, said a renewed bid in six months was "very likely". His comments followed an announcement from C&M that it "could not justify" raising the 90p cash element of its 105p-a- share offer that included 15p in C&M shares. It already owns 26 per cent of Tay's shares. C&M had also tabled an all-share offer worth 113p per Tay share.

Mr Wicks said: "We have £7m tied up in this stake, we will follow this through." He did not rule out asking for a seat on the Tay board or calling for an extraordinary shareholders' meeting. Tay had earlier denounced C&M's all-share bid as "wholly unacceptable". It welcomed yesterday's withdrawal.

Mr Wicks said C&M was forced to retract its bid under Stock Exchange rules that meant it had to "put up or shut up". C&M said any further move towards a deal, which would create a firm worth more than £40m, was on hold until Tay reported its full-year results in mid-September. C&M argued it could not raise its offer without more financial information, which Tay refused to furnish.

C&M shares were unchanged at 84.5p, while Tay lost 2p to close at 97p.

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