Ransomes agrees to pounds 83m offer

Ransomes yesterday agreed to be taken over by Textron of the US for pounds 83.2m, worth 60p a share. James Hardymon, chairman of Textron, said Ransomes provided his company with complementary products and strong European and US-based manufacturing and marketing capabilities for its golf and turf-care businesses.

"The combined group will contribute to Textron's growth objectives by leveraging our product technologies, manufacturing capacity, marketing and distribution networks and commercial financing capabilities."

Explaining why Ransomes had accepted the offer, its chairman, John Clement, said trading over the past 12 months "has highlighted the competitive and economic pressures faced by a business of its size and capital structure".

The offer represents a 107 per cent premium to Ransomes' share price on 20 August, the last day before the company said it had received a bid approach. Ransomes' shares closed at 57.5p, up 7.5p yesterday.

Mr Clement added that the combination Ransomes' and Textron's resources "should result in a business that is well positioned to compete successfully world-wide."