TAKING STOCK

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The Independent Online
rShares of PizzaExpress are looking overcooked, unless a bidder moves soon. They rose 11p to a 527.5p peak with buyers convinced a brewer or a leading leisure group will devour what is seen as a mouth-watering morsel. Whitbread's takeover of the Pelican restaurant chain and Rank Organisation's acquisition of the Tom Cobleigh pubs group have heightened expectations. A year ago the shares were 190p. The US group, Janus Capital, a fan of high flying JD Wetherspoon, has built a near 20 per cent stake.

rHollas, the struggling clothing group, is looking even more threadbare. The shares, 21p a year ago, fell 3p to 4.5p as a seller dumped 1.6 million at 4.25p. The company lost pounds 3.2m in 1995 and is likely to have suffered further losses last year.

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