Counter bid hopes power Chlo­ride stock

Daily Mail - - City & Finance - By Simon Duke

POWER pro­tec­tion firm Chlo­ride was last night at the cen­tre of a transat­lantic tug-of-war af­ter ac­cept­ing an £860m takeover bid from Swiss en­gi­neer­ing gi­ant ABB.

The 325-pence-a-share deal for the Bri­tish power back-up equip­ment maker is ex­pected to flush out long-term suitor Amer­i­can group Emer­son, which had a £ 723m of­fer re­jected just six weeks ago.

Emer­son was last night ‘con­sid­er­ing its po­si­tion’. But in­vestors are now bet­ting it will come up with a sweeter pro­posal over the com­ing weeks, pro­pel­ling shares in Chlo­ride 55.2p higher to 343.6p – more than 20p above the deal price.

Stock­bro­ker Ar­buth­not said: ‘We do not be­lieve that this of­fer isn’t nec­es­sar­ily the end of the story.’

The in­vest­ment house be­lieves Chlo­ride could fetch more than £925m, or 350p a share.

One stick­ing point, how­ever, is the £8.5m com­pen­sa­tion Chlo­ride would have to pay ABB if it pulls out of the deal.

The Swiss group ad­mit­ted yes­ter­day that it been stalk­ing Chlo­ride for the past 18 months, but had to step up its ef­forts when Emer­son came to the ta­ble in late April.

Chlo­ride boss Tim Cob­bold told the Mail: ‘We got a good of­fer for a good busi­ness and that’s why the board has rec­om­mended it.’

By cav­ing in to ABB, Cob­bold is draw­ing a line un­der nearly 120 years of in­de­pen­dence.

Af­ter start­ing life as a bat­tery maker i n 1891, Chlo­ride now makes high-tech kit that pro­tects against power short­ages on the London Un­der­ground and at Arse­nal’s Emi­rates Sta­dium.

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