All aboard! Phoenix ups its stake in Thomas the Tank Engine owner Hornby as shareholders jump on the fund manager's train

Oliver Gill
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Thomas & Friends 70th Birthday Celebration
A TV show version of Thomas the Tank was narrated by Beatles drummer Ringo Starr (Source: Getty)

Phoenix Asset Management today upped its stake in model maker to more than 70 per cent.

The Barnes-based fund manager previously took its shareholding in the owner of Scalextric and Airfix to 50 per cent last month. This prompted Phoenix into making an official takeover bid under UK takeover regulations.

Phoenix’s 32.375p per share offer was taken up by a around a third of the remaining shareholders, meaning Phoenix’s stake in the Kent-based business now stands at 71.5 per cent.

Read more: Going off the rails? Hornby rubbishes Phoenix's takeover offer

Hornby said the offer, which values the firm at around £27m, “significantly undervalues” the toymaker.

Phoenix ruffled feathers earlier this year after failed attempt to keep Roger Canham, one of the fund manager’s own board members, on as chairman on Hornby.

While Phoenix struck a deal with smaller institutional shareholders Ruffer and Downing to keep Canham on. But he exited after the asset manager upped its offer, being replaced by interim chairman David Adams.

Read more: Hornby has just had a takeover offer from Phoenix Asset Management

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