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.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Ottawa shootings: Terror strikes Canadian capital as attacks leave one soldier and one suspect dead
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...
120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...