Williams abandons Tyco merger talks

WILLIAMS HOLDINGS, the fire protection and security business, said yesterday that it has abandoned merger talks with US conglomerate, Tyco International, which last year took over ADT, Michael Ashcroft's Bermuda-based security business.

The news came in a statement to the Stock Exchange which was forced by a sharp rise in the Williams share price from 27p to 398p yesterday morning on speculation that a deal was imminent. Later the shares retreated to close at 380p, up 7.25p on the day.

Both sides said that the talks, which covered a range of options from joint ventures to full-scale merger, were terminated last week after Williams' chairman Sir Nigel Rudd and Tyco's chairman Dennis Kozolowski failed to agree on a valuation of the business, or the future direction of the two companies.

However, yesterday's statement does not rule out further talks, and a hostile bid by Tyco for Williams remains a possibility although City sources said Tyco has never made a hostile bid, preferring to grow by cooperation and agreement.

Tyco claims to the largest manufacturer and supplier of both fire-protection and electronic security equipment in the world, and has publicly stated its intention to expand outside North America.

In the past 18 months it has taken over both ADT and Thorn Securities.

It has a market capitalisation of $20bn and annual turnover of around $13bn. The fire protection and security division accounts for well under half the group's annual turnover but is roughly the same size and market value as Williams, which has been steadily disposing of its home improvements business to focus on fire protection and security.

The businesses offer a broadly similar range of products and services, but Tyco operates almost exclusively in North America, while more than half of both turnover and profits of Williams are in the UK, Europe, Australasia and Asia.

Williams shares have fallen from a peak of 486p earlier this year, but they have staged a steady recovery from a low point of 313p over the last few weeks, after publishing interim profits for the six months to the end of June.

These showed profits more than doubled to pounds 264m since the half-way stage in the previous year. About a quarter of the increase might have come from Chubb, which has now been fully integrated.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee