Triplex Lloyd head quits over failed bid for Cook
Wednesday 09 July 1997
Analysts claimed the departure reflected Mr Lockyer's failure to secure the pounds 73m acquisition, which would have turned Triplex into the UK's biggest metals castings group and increased the group's earnings by 30 per cent.
The bid failure cost Triplex pounds 2.1m in legal and advisory expenses and depressed the company's share price. Andrew Cook, chairman of William Cook, defeated Triplex's hostile move in February by taking the company private through a pounds 80m management buyout.
While Colin Cooke, chairman of Triplex, maintained yesterday that Mr Lockyer's departure "had nothing to do with the bid ... and was over differences of opinion about strategic direction", analysts said the departure clearly reflected the damage to Triplex's reputation arising from the takeover fight.
In particular, analysts pointed to the leaks to the press during the bid of confidential information on William Cook which led to a public reprimand by the Takeover Panel. Mr Lockyer's departure comes a fortnight after the company dispensed with the services of Citigate, its public relations advisers for the takeover attempt.
One analyst said yesterday: "Mr Lockyer engineered this bid and must be responsible for how bitter it became. He also simply failed to nail William Cook. Buying that company would have transformed Triplex."
Analysts pointed out that Triplex's chairman had a reputation for toughness. John Foley, chief executive prior to Mr Lockyer, departed three years ago over a poor profits record. One analyst said: "Colin has a bit of a reputation as a hatchet man. Graham was a lovely person and well liked, but he wasn't the ideal one to lead on these decisions. It's probably a fair decision to let him go."
Bob Mitchell, finance director, is assuming the chief executive's role until a replacement is found. Mr Lockyer had been on a two-year rolling contract and earned pounds 252,000 last year.
Mr Cooke said the group would not make any more hostile bids, though with low gearing the company had around pounds 20m to spend on bolt-on acquisitions.
"I do regret this bid," he said. "The cost was heavy. It was going to give us substantial synergies and it was a very undervalued company. But if I could go back I would not do it again."
Though the bid has depressed Triplex's share price, which eased 1p to 154p yesterday and has fallen from more than 200p earlier this year, analysts were generally impressed with the group's results for the year to March and said the group looks undervalued.
The results, released yesterday, showed that taxable profits rose 19 per cent to pounds 11.3m and earnings per share by 25 per cent to 13p.
Paul Compton of Merrill Lynch said: "It is not many engineering companies which have just reported a 20 per cent rise in earnings and have no debt which are at half the value of the market."
- 1 Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
- 2 Maisie Williams has an excellent message for one confused fan
- 3 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 4 Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
- 5 Kate Moss on the naked Calvin Klein shoot and the obsession that ended her relationship
Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
Maisie Williams has an excellent message for one confused fan
Archaeologists discover 2,400-year-old gold bongs in Russia
Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after British tourists complain of 'awkward' holidays
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
iJobs Money & Business
£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...
£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...