Thistle to return pounds 120m to shareholders
Tuesday 18 August 1998
As partial compensation for the failure of the bid hotel chain is now believed to be planning to return more than pounds 120m to shareholders, it emerged yesterday.
In a statement released after the stock market closed, Thistle said that it had terminated talks with one suitor - which sources close to the company identified as Nomura - because it had cut its original bid to an "unacceptable" level.
The sources added that Nomura reduced its original bid - rumoured to have been around pounds 1.5bn - by up to 10 per cent due to "the volatility in financial markets over the last week". This led Thistle, which owns 91 hotels around the country, to reject the offer.
Nomura was yesterday unvailable for comment.
Thistle, whose largest shareholder is Brierley Investments, yesterday ruled out another offer from one of the bidders shortlisted in June when the company first put itself up for sale. That list was thought to include the venture capital group Blackstone, and Accor, the French owner of the Ibis and Sofitel chains. Thistle has been a prized target for a number of hotel companies, because of the heavy London weighting of its portfolio. The company owns 24 hotels in London, including the Tower Thistle at Tower Bridge and the Mount Royal at Marble Arch.
The company said it was "disappointing that the sale process did not produce an offer at a value that reflected" the "excellent potential" of Thistle's hotel portfolio.
However, it added that Thistle would be able to survive on its own and was planning a "substantial return of cash to shareholders'" which would enhance earnings per share and mantain " a sound financial position".
Sources said that the company was considering "all options, including a share buyback and an exceptional dividend", and indicated that shareholders are set to receive more than pounds 120m in cash.
"The return of cash would be in excess of 10 per cent of the company's market capitalisation, which has been between pounds 1.2-1.3bn in the past few months," they added.
Thistle sounded a bullish note on its trading to date, saying that the board "expects to confirm good progress for the half year" when it reports interim results on September 9.
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...