Pace share price jumps 36 per cent after takeover agreement with US rival

 
Emma Haslett
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The company said gross margins had been ahead in the first quarter (Source: Flickr)

Shares in Pace, the set-top box maker, closed more than 36 per cent higher this afternoon, after it announced plans to merge with US rival Arris.

The company said this morning it had agreed to be bought by Arris for $2.1bn (£1.4bn). The deal values Pace at 426.5p per share - although they closed at 454p.

Pace shareholders will be paid 132.5p in cash and will receive 0.1455 shares in the new company, which will be incorporated in the UK, although its headquarters will be in Georgia, and the company will be listed on Nasdaq. "The combination of the complementary Arris and Pace businesses will create a platform for future growth above and beyond our standalone potential," said chairman Allan Leighton.

In an update to the market today, the company said gross margins in its first quarter were ahead of last year "due to the positive impact of improved revenue mix and ongoing procurement benefits".

Numis analyst Nick James said the "commercial and financial rationale of the deal make good sense", but added that the "only hurdle [is] gaining antitrust clearance, which while likely is not certain".

"As a first stab, we estimate the chance of the deal failing at 20%, but this may become clearer over coming weeks," he said.

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