View from City Road: LIG fails to clear the waters
Wednesday 20 April 1994
So why did it run the risk of letting something slip by summoning members of the Fourth Estate yesterday, only to tell them what they knew already - that LIG is in big trouble but trying to do something about it?
The answer must be that Nick Hodges, recently installed as chief executive, has been spooked by rumours that the vultures are closing in on LIG's troubled carcass. The message he wanted to hammer home was: 'Hang on in there, bankers and shareholders, and we'll deliver.'
Paradoxically, he only served to underline the murky depths of LIG's difficulties. Amid the Carpenteresque fog in which the company's finances are swathed, only highly unpleasant-looking shapes are discernible.
Photoprocessing, which LIG is trying to sell, looks as miserable a situation as ever. Having squandered up to pounds 70m since 1981 getting into an area it did not understand, LIG is discovering that getting out might be an almost equally expensive affair. Margins in photoprocessing are so thin and barriers to entry so low, that it's quite possible LIG will fail to do a deal at all.
That leaves the pounds 200m price tag the stock market attaches to LIG's core condoms and gloves business looking steep. LIG may have a very strong brand in Durex, but Far Eastern competition is growing.
Health and personal care products will turn over about pounds 250m this year - against pounds 140m from photoprocessing. But LIG's refusal to say how much is attributable to johnnies, and how much to the 'non-core' products it is getting rid of, such as its cough medicines, makes any sensible assessment of its value impossible. In such circumstances, some careless talk from the group might be welcome.
- 1 Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn win
- 2 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 3 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 4 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
- 5 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn win
Kim Jong-un is awarded global statesmanship prize by Indonesia
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Calais crisis: Migrants that have made it to the UK reveal how Britain has matched their expectations
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£13000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about custom...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Main purpose: Under the directi...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Contracts Manager - City...