Postman Pat fails to deliver formal offer after Noddy says 'no' to bid

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Chorion, owner of the rights to Noddy, The Famous Five and Miss Marple, yesterday rejected another approach from Entertainment Rights, owner of the Basil Brush and Postman Pat brands.

Chorion, which recently appointed NM Rothschild as its financial adviser, said simply that it had decided that the proposal was not in the best interests of Chorion shareholders and that it could, therefore, not recommend it.

The statement angered Entertainment Rights, which has made several approaches to the company since stating it was interested in it in November 2002.

It said yesterday it had not decided to proceed with an offer for Chorion and pointed out that it had not been able to table a formal offer because of a confidentiality agreement it signed, which did not expire until 27 January. Mike Heap, the chief executive of Entertainment Rights, said: "At the first possible opportunity following the lapse of the standstill provisions in the confidentiality arrangement, ER announced a proposal."

He said, however, that Chorion had refused to allow Entertainment Rights to carry out any due diligence, which had prevented the company from being able to make a formal offer.

Mr Heap said that while Chorion's decision was "disappointing", the company would continue to "pursue other opportunities" while building on organic growth.

Chorion had hinted last week that it would reject what it termed Entertainment Right's "proposal of offer", of 252p a share in shares and cash. Chorion had said that the offer was at a similar level to an approach made in December, one it had turned down on the grounds that it "significantly" undervalued the business.

It said then that Entertainment Rights had made "a long series of unsolicited and unwelcome approaches" over the past three years but that none had ever resulted in an offer being made.