Waterfall launches hostile pounds 41m bid

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The Independent Online
WATERFALL, THE pool hall operator run by John Garrett, the former Rank director, yesterday launched a pounds 41m hostile bid for its rival European Leisure, writes Peter Thal Larsen.

The long-awaited all-share bid threatens to break open the merger between European and Allied Leisure, announced earlier this year. However, European immediately rejected the bid and questioned the accuracy of Waterfall's accounts.

Waterfall is offering 203.5 shares for every 100 European shares, valuing them at 115p each. Under the terms of the deal, European shareholders will hold 70 per cent of the enlarged company's share capital.

The announcement, which was made after the market closed last night, came after the Irish Takeover Panel ordered Waterfall to make its intentions clear. European said it planned to continue recommending Allied's offer, which will leave European shareholders with 52 per cent of the enlarged equity. A spokesman said the company did not believe Waterfall was the right partner.