Wednesday 16 September 1998
Pretty damn hideous in this case, it seems. This can be the only conclusion after first Somerfield and now Budgens have decided that, even if Booker is the only girl left on the dance floor, they would rather go home alone. Though Booker denies it, the suspicion remains that the due diligence process must have uncovered something pretty unpleasant.
On the other hand, a reverse takeover of Booker by Budgens made even less sense than the mooted tie-up with Somerfield. That the shares slumped again yesterday after the talks were abandoned might therefore seem perverse.
With Booker stock now down to a 14-year low we may not have seen the last of the Booker bids. Up until now financial buyers have largely steered clear, since they would be unable to achieve the same synergies as a trade buyer.
But the figures now look more tempting. Booker has a market value of just pounds 290m, but enjoys sales of more than pounds 5bn. Even stripping out the food businesses earmarked for sale, that still leaves cash and carry sales of pounds 3.5bn. This is low-margin turnover, admittedly, but by the same token that means all the more room for improvement.
What is clear is that the board needs to move with speed to find a chief executive capable of getting a grip; it's been without one for nearly six months now, which must be at least a part of the problem.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber reach almost £154,000 on eBay
- 3 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 4 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 5 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
iJobs Money & Business
£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education are seeking a Fi...