TI admits to takeover talks with BF Goodrich

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TI Group, the engineer, admitted yesterday that it had held informal talks with BF Goodrich, the US aerospace group, and other unnamed companies about a possible merger. However, a company official insisted that no deal was imminent and the board continued to look at an array of options to try a boost the group's share price.

TI Group, the engineer, admitted yesterday that it had held informal talks with BF Goodrich, the US aerospace group, and other unnamed companies about a possible merger. However, a company official insisted that no deal was imminent and the board continued to look at an array of options to try a boost the group's share price.

"The board continues to evaluate a number of options given the situation that the share price does not reflect our financial strengths," Richard Poston, TI Group director of communications, said: "You would expect Sir Christopher Lewington [TI chairman] to be in discussion with a number of companies all the time."

Mr Poston's comments came after a weekend press report said that BF Goodrich had approached TI Group about a deal that could value the British company at up to 500p a share, or about £2.5bn. TI Group shares closed at 340p last Friday, well off their high for the year of 478.25p, which was touched in January.

Sir Christopher has long bemoaned the lowly rating that his company attracts in the City, and has said several times this year that he is assessing ways to eliminate the "mismatch" between its share price and underlying financial performance. Sir Christopher has refused to drawn, however, on whether he favours a break-up, merger or management buyout.

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