Dancing with Wolves

Having waited until the eleventh hour to submit its bid for Wolverhampton & Dudley, Pubmaster’s proposed price has left shareholders distinctly cold

Now that Robert Breare and his private equity backers Botts & Co have dropped out of the running for the brewing company, the remaining hostile bidder for Wolves seems to be keen to pitch low as an opening bid gambit.

Although Breare had offered 500 pence per Wolves share after he had opened bidding on the company in August last year, Pubmaster and its advisers WestLB Panmure have decided that the company is now only worth 480 pence per share – a proposition that has been swiftly rejected by a number of Wolves key shareholders.

Both the shareholders and Wolves’ management have been quick to point to improvements across the sector as well as the positive impact of its own recovery plan as to why the Pubmaster bid was inadequate. Said one analyst covering the sector: “Pubmaster will do well to land Wolves for less than 510 pence: their offer is far less conditional than Breare’s but it’s clear that [Wolves’] management have got its shareholders on side.”

Pubmaster fired in this opening offer with only 30 minutes left to run before the bid deadline set by the UK’s Takeover Panel expired last Friday.

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