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 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Holborn fire: Chaos as 2,000 people evacuated to escape toxic smoke filling central London
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...
£18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...