Industrial conglomerate turned investment group Wassall revealed last week that an attempt to take over cable and construction group BICC had been rejected.
Wassall disclosed that it had made a 90p a share offer for BICC on March 12. The bid, valuing BICC at £381m, was rejected by the company on March 17.
Speculation that a bid was in the offing had been mounting in the City since last November when it emerged that Wassall had taken a stake in BICC.
Last week’s announcement is seen as a shot across BICC’s bows. Wassall management is hoping that the offer will be enough to attract interest and support from some of BICC’s institutional investors, which have seen the group’s shares fall massively over the past five years. A £100 stake bought five years ago would be worth just £27 now.
Wassall’s chief executive Chris Miller said: ‘We believe this proposal should be brought to the attention of BICC shareholders and we continue to seek a constructive dialogue with the board of BICC.’
The offer represents a 57.9% premium to the BICC share price on November 12, the day of public disclosure of Wassall’s shareholding interest in BICC.
It is also 41.7% above BICC’s share price on February 1, the day before Wassall was required by the Takeover Panel to make an announcement on its investment in the group.