Kidde investor rejects £1.3bn bid from US

One of Kidde's largest shareholders yesterday put its weight behind the fire protection company's rejection of a £1.3bn takeover bid from United Technologies Corp, the US industrial group.

In what analysts described as a boost to the Kidde board's position on the UTC approach, Standard Life Investments agreed that the bidder had not offered enough money.

Following the emergence of news of the rebuffed approach last week, UTC had said it would talk to Kidde shareholders in an attempt to put pressure on the British company to open its books so that due diligence could be conducted. However, that strategy looks even less likely to succeed at the offer price.

Standard Life has a 7.3 per cent stake in Kidde, making it the second largest shareholder in the company. It is the first institutional shareholder to make a public statement on the bid approach. David Cumming, the head of UK equities at the fund manager, said: "We support the board's view that the 160p a share offer from UTC does not recognise Kidde's future growth prospects."

Analysts said UTC would have to offer at least 180p a share to stand a chance of success.

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