UniChem unlikely to raise bid for Lloyds
Sunday 12 January 1997
This weekend no final decision had been taken, and Jeff Harris, UniChem's chief executive, was still sounding out advisers. Barclays de Zoete Wedd, the company's merchant bank, is under- stood to be concerned that a higher bid might be counter-productive as well as unjustifiable.
UniChem shares leapt 10p to 256p on Friday, valuing its cash and shares bid at pounds 654m - pounds 21m higher on the day, but still pounds 30m short of Gehe's offer.
The shares rose, however, on the expectation that UniChem would lose. It has until Friday to make a counter offer, but shareholders already face earnings dilution in the first year on the existing bid. The deal would treble the size of Unichem's retail chain, but fears of overstretching itself might hit the share price and cancel out higher terms.
"The market is telling us it wants UniChem to lose. It may be better to be hard-headed, forget the last year and gain the credit for just walking away," one market source said this weekend.
UniChem's current bid values Lloyds at 502p per share, against Gehe's 525p - up from 500p - in what analysts now expect to be the knockout blow.
Success would catapult Gehe ahead of Boots, adding Lloyds' 924 stores to its own 357-strong chain of Hills pharmacies. Boots, meanwhile, has 1,226 outlets and Moss just over 460.
Lloyds chairman Allen Lloyd will become pounds 32m richer by cashing in his stake.
Dr Dieter Kammerer, Gehe's chairman, said he was confident of victory after a market raid also snapped up 21 per cent of Lloyds on Friday. "UniChem can only come back by diluting itself further by adding more shares. This does not make the offer more valuable," he said.
Hostilities started last January, but were suspended during a monopolies inquiry before recommencing in November.
Lloyds' shares closed 14p up at 526.5p on Friday in the froth of the battle.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
iJobs Money & Business
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...