Andor looks for White Knight after fresh bid

Oliver Smith
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SCIENTIFIC camera maker Andor Technology has once again shot down Oxford Instruments’ attempts to negotiate a takeover, labelling the firm’s £159m offer as disappointing.

Andor said it is still pursuing its long-term stand-alone growth strategy and also actively soliciting a recommendable offer from Oxford Instruments or any other parties.

Oxford Instruments, which designs and manufactures tools for industry and research, offered £159m in cash for Andor Technology in November, but did not improve on the offer following Andor’s initial rejection of the offer as being too low.

“The board of Andor has considered the possible offer and is disappointed that Oxford Instruments was not able to increase its offer price in light of the considerable management time that has been spent in helping Oxford Instruments understand Andor’s business and its future prospects,” Andor said in a statement.

Andor yesterday reported its profit fell 26 per cent to £7.4m during the year to 30 September with revenues falling 6.4 per cent to £54.5m.

“While challenges remain, a number of indicators are beginning to point to more positive conditions across our markets,” said Andor chairman Colin Walsh on the results, adding that the company is confident in delivering on its expectations over the next year.

The company reported its opening order book for 2014 has already seen 33 per cent growth on the same period last year. Andor’s share price rose 3.5 per cent to close at 502.5p a share.



Dominic Lester and Tariq Hussain at Jefferies are acting as financial advisers to Andor, while Evercore’s Bernard Taylor and Julian Oakley are lead advisers to Oxford Instruments, with JP Morgan Cazenove acting as joint adviser and corporate broker to the firm. Leading the advisory team for Jefferies is Dominic Lester, who was appointed managing director and head of European technology and telecoms investment banking last September. Lester joined Jefferies from UBS, where he spent nearly 20 years. Evercore’s team is being led by Taylor, an experienced mergers and acquisitions banker who was chief executive of Braveheart until it was bought out by Evercore in 2006. Taylor’s current role is chairman of Evercore’s European investment banking operation. Previously he was chief executive of the same division and a senior managing director of the firm. Taylor has worked on deals including guiding Wellcome Trust through its acquisition by drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline and advising Dresdner Bank on its offer for Kleinwort Benson. Taylor also worked with Northern Telecom on its joint venture with Daimler Benz and its link-up with French media conglomerate Lagardere Groupe.