Shares in Menvier-Swan surge on bid approach

Shares in Menvier-Swain Group, the manufacturer of emergency lighting and security systems, surged nearly 25 per cent yesterday after the company said it was in talks with a third party which may lead to it being taken over.

Schroders, which is advising Menvier on the bid approach, made the announcement after the company's shares climbed as high as 265p. The stock closed 49p up at 254p, some way off January's high of 338p.

Menvier refused to comment on the suitor's identity and how advanced the talks were.

The company has been looking vulnerable after issuing a profits warning in September. That warning sent its shares spiralling 22 per cent to a year low of 217p. The company said trading conditions had been difficult and its largest customer had cut back on stock levels. Menvier had also been affected by the strength of the pound, industry consolidation and restructuring costs.

The difficult market conditions forced Menvier to cut more than 100 jobs, almost 10 per cent of the workforce.

- Cathy Newman