Friday, February 19, 2010

Top Babcock International Shareholder Balks At VT Bid

Top Babcock International Shareholder Balks At VT Bid -Report
February 19, 2010

The takeover battle between Babcock International Group PLC (BAB.LN) and VT Group PLC (VTG.LN) ignited late Thursday when Babcock's largest shareholder branded the bid for VT "a deal too far," U.K. newspaper The Times reported on Friday.

In a significant setback for Babcock, Andy Brough, a fund manager with Schroders, which controls nearly 10% of Babcock's shares, said that he had supported Peter Rogers, the deal-doing chief executive of Babcock, in previous bids, but could not support him in his pursuit of VT.
Thursday, Babcock raised its approach for VT to between 680p and 715p, from 633p, The Times said. Babcock increased its offer after taking soundings from some of its shareholders--but not, it would seem, Brough, The Times said.

Labelling Rogers' offer "a crazy price", Brough said: "He's always wanted to do this. But GBP7 a share? Why does Babcock have to bet the ranch on one deal? At this price, it looks like VT shareholders will be walking off into the sunset while Babcock is left trying to generate the value."

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