TLG soars after bid approach

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The Independent Online
SHARES IN TLG, the former Thorn Lighting Group, soared by 23 per cent yesterday when it said it had received an approach that may lead to an offer for the company. TLG shares closed 25.5p higher at 135.5p, valuing the business at pounds 250m.

Speculation hit upon Wassall, the industrial conglomerate, as the likely predator. Wassall has been building a stake in TLG and acquired a further 1.7 million shares on Friday, taking its stake to 10.1 per cent.

Wassall said it had nothing to add to its comments about its share purchase and did not plan a further announcement. This appeared to suggest that Wassall is content to continue as a passive investor in TLG, which was spun out of Thorn-EMI three years ago. TLG shares peaked at over 180p, but they had been languishing before the takeover speculation began. They traded at 89.5p in April when Wassall took its share to 7 per cent.

In June the company reported a 12 per cent rise in underlying profits to pounds 25m on sales up 2 per cent to pounds 393m. It won contracts to supply floodlighting for three stadiums in the World Cup in France, but its figures were dented by sterling's strength, which affected profits in France and Germany.

TLG then announced plans to buy back pounds 20m of its shares. David Laybourne, the new chief executive, is undertaking a strategic review.