Shares in Kingsbury fall after approach

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The Independent Online
Shares in Kingsbury, the furniture group, fell by almost 5 per cent yesterday after the company said it had received an approach which could lead to an offer. The shares dropped 8p to 165p after the announcement, reflecting City fears that a rival bidder was unlikely to emerge.

Analysts said the most likely buyer was Allders, the department store group. Other possible candidates include UNO, DFS Furniture, Courts and Essex Furniture.

Kingsbury said that if an offer was made it would be at a level close to the current share price. However, the company declined to name the potential buyer.

The news comes only a month after the furniture retailer was reported to be interested in buying Maples Stores, the 150-year-old furniture business that collapsed into receivership last month. Kingsbury has, in the past, said that consolidation was crucial in the furniture retailing sector.

Last year, the company raised pre-tax profits to pounds 4.5m from pounds 4.1m and increased its dividend 25 per cent to 3.75p. However, its shares plunged in January when it issued a profits warning for the year to the end of December.