Wellcome share bids reach 850p

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The Independent Online
LARGE investors have made indicative bids for 250 million of the 330 million Wellcome shares on offer at prices between 800p and 850p a share, writes Clare Dobie. The price compares with yesterday's close of 845p.

Advisers to Wellcome Trust, which is selling the shares through an international tender, warned that the indicative bids were not binding.

The figures emerged after the markets had closed and take account of yesterday's fall in share prices round the world. Investors have an incentive to keep their bids high in case the market recovers before the close on Friday.

Advisers said earlier yesterday that they would press ahead with the sale whatever happened to the stock market this week.

The offer of shares to the public closes today, but the price will be set only after the close of the institutional offer on Friday.

The plan is to sell 330 million shares - worth pounds 2.8bn at yesterday's closing price of 845p - but the issue could be scaled down.

Anyone wanting to buy shares in Wellcome should take their applications to branches of Lloyds Bank before 3.30pm.

They should check which branches are accepting them with the Wellcome share office (081-944-1242).