Outlook: Regional brewers
Thursday 03 December 1998
too? That's what Wolverhampton & Dudley thinks anyway. The trouble is
that its Midlands rival, Marston, Thompson & Evershed, doesn't want to
play ball. This pounds 260m takeover battle moved up a gear yesterday with news
that Marston is promising shareholders an increase in the payback from
60p to 101p a share should they reject the bid.
Marston is able to do this because it is securitising its tenanted estate,
a disposal which will realise some pounds 137.3m. David Thompson of Wolverhampton
& Dudley has in turn made his offer conditional on shareholders rejecting
this proposal, since a part of the rationale for the bid is gaining access
to Marston's tenanted estate. In other words, he's threatening to withdraw
his bid if shareholders back Marston's securitisation plan.
Whether he will go through with this threat remains to be seen; the
condition can be waived. But is this a risk shareholders want to take?
Next Wednesday they assemble in Burton upon Trent to vote on the issue,
so it's make your mind up time.
The argument is a finely balanced one. Marston hints obscurely that there
might be other bidders in the wings - Greene King for instance - for whom
a cash-rich brewer stripped of its tenanted estate could be attractive.
If there is to be a wide ranging consolidation among regional brewers,
it might pay to see who else comes out of the woodwork, the argument goes.
It would plainly make sense from everyone's point of view to delay the
securitisation vote so that the bid can be fought on its merits and to
allow for the possibility of higher offers, either from Wolverhampton
or others. Unfortunately, Marston claims, this cannot be done since to
abandon or lengthen the underwriting of the securitisation would be exceptionally
costly and there would be no guarantee of getting such favourable terms
Even so, Marston may have done its shareholders no service by making
a stand on this issue, for if the company loses, it will be as if the
management's defence has already been rejected. Wolverhampton & Dudley
will, as a consequence, be that much more reluctant to raise its bid.
So it's a tough call. In the end, however, shareholders would be wise
to reject their management's proposals. There is likely to be more value
realised by allowing the bid process to run its course than by obstructing
it at this early stage.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence referendum live: Latest news as Scotland votes Yes or No
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
iJobs Money & Business
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...
To £85,000 + banking benefits: Saxton Leigh: You will be expected to carry out...
Up to £90,000 + benefits: Saxton Leigh: Credit Risk Audit Manager required to ...