W&D shares soar on bid battle hope

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Shares in Wolverhampton & Dudley, the UK's biggest regional brewer, soared 21 per cent yesterday on hopes of a bid battle after it agreed to discuss a possible offer led by Botts & Company, a private investment vehicle, and Robert Breare, the pubs and leisure entrepreneur. W&D shares closed up 80p at 455p, valuing the Pedigree beer to Pitcher & Piano company at £429m.

Shares in Wolverhampton & Dudley, the UK's biggest regional brewer, soared 21 per cent yesterday on hopes of a bid battle after it agreed to discuss a possible offer led by Botts & Company, a private investment vehicle, and Robert Breare, the pubs and leisure entrepreneur. W&D shares closed up 80p at 455p, valuing the Pedigree beer to Pitcher & Piano company at £429m.

W&D's board is due to meet the Botts-Breare team "as soon as practicable" but a robust defence is expected. Analysts said the management could table a rival bid to take the company private. Ralph Findlay, finance director and chief executive designate, said: "We are still in 'no comment mode'". Other potential suitors include Nomura, Punch Group or a foreign brewer such as Heineken.

Mr Breare confirmed he was interested inW&D's four breweries and its managed estate. But analysts said a takeover could lead to a break-up of W&D.

Comments