Acquisitive engineering conglomerate TT Group last week dismissed growing speculation that it has set its sights on cable-maker Delta.
The speculation followed a steady rise in Delta’s share price early last week.
TT, which is mounting a £51.8m hostile bid for Shrewsbury-based Hall Engineering, described the rumours about Delta as ‘idle speculation’.
A group spokeswoman pointed out that speculation surrounding a possible TT Group bid for Delta had persisted since TT bought a stake in the cables company last autumn.
As the group’s share- holders met for an extraordinary meeting to approve the company’s bid for Hall Engineering, a spokesman said: ‘We have a well documented stake in Delta, but the rest is purely speculative.’
Last autumn, Delta identified TT Group as one of its shareholders after the company built up a 1.35% stake. TT has consistently declined to say why it has built up the stake.
Analysts consider Delta to be highly vulnerable to a takeover its shares have steadily underperformed the market over the past 12 months, falling from a high of 342.5p last year to just 123.5p last week.
At this level the company is valued at £185m.
One analyst observed last week that even at this depressed valuation, TT Group could scarcely afford to buy both Hall Engineering and Delta.
Delta chief executive Jon Scott-Maxwell was unavailable for comment.
News Analysis, p10