UK Estates bid goes to the wire
Tuesday 14 January 1997
In a statement issued to the Stock Exchange last night after the final closing date for its offer had closed, Ashquay said that with the Takeover Panel's approval, it would announce the level of acceptances by midnight.
But the outcome looked too close to call after shares in UK Estates closed 0.75p higher at 28.5p, while Ashquay ended 0.5p better at 40p, valuing the bid at 30.8p. Ashquay is offering 10 shares for every 13 ordinary UK Estates shares.
Just minutes before the offer closed Ashquay said it would borrow up to pounds 750,000 "on normal commercial terms" to acquire shares in UK Estates. The money will be borrowed from Close Brothers, a subsidiary of Close Brothers Finance, who are acting as financial advisers to Ashquay.
Ashquay is thought to have used the money to go into the market and buy a 3 per cent stake held in UK Estates by the Co-Op Bank. Sources familiar with the bid said uncertainty about whether Ashquay would be able to secure registration of the Co-Op shares with the Takeover Panel had caused a delay in the outcome of the bid being announced.
Ashquay has already won over investors speaking for 38 per cent of UK Estates' ordinary shares and 16 per cent of its preference shares.
During the often acrimonious bid battle Ashquay sought to increase the pressure on UK Estates by sticking to yesterday's deadline as the final closing date for its offer. The Takeover Code had allowed for Ashquay to extend its offer until 27 January.
At one stage, Ashquay accused UK Estates' directors of having a "thorough disregard for shareholders' interests and of "mismanaging the company". It also highlighted UK Estates' administrative costs, which last year totalled pounds 970,000, and the pounds 530,000 UK Estates spent on shares for an employee benefit trust.
Last year pre-tax profits at UK Estates fell from pounds 610,000 to pounds 382,000.
But UK Estates rejected the offer, noting Ashquay is a smaller company with net assets less than half those of UK Estates. It also derided the lack of a cash alternative.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Tommy Ramone dies: Last surviving founder and drummer seminal punk band The Ramones dies aged 62
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...