Stanley Gibbons plans £42m bid to coin it in

Stanley Gibbons, the rare stamps dealership, could become a giant of the coin collecting world after yesterday making a £42m approach to numismatic specialist Noble Investments.

Although Gibbons has not yet tabled an offer for Noble, which owns the coin and auction specialist Baldwin's, the bid talks are about an offer price of 255p per Noble share, of which 192.5p would be in cash and 62.5p in new Stanley Gibbons shares. The AIM-listed stamp specialist would carry out a share placing to raise about £37m.

Noble said its board "would be likely to unanimously recommend such an offer, were it to be made." Both companies reckon "the combination of the two businesses has considerable strategic and financial logic," Noble said.

Noble's big brand coin business Baldwin's is based just a flip away from Gibbons' headquarters in London's Strand. It also owns Mayfair art and book auctioneers Dreweatts & Bloomsbury.

The City obviously did not agree the deal was so attractive: shares in Noble fell 7p to 244p, while Gibbons was off 4.5p at 307p. Under takeover rules Gibbons has until 10 October to make a formal offer.

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