Celsis agrees to 55m deal

David Hellier
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CELSIS, the product testing company for the cosmetics, food and pharmaceutical industries, yesterday agreed to a &pound;54.5m takeover bid from the activist investor Christopher Mills.<br /><br />Mills is bidding on behalf of a newly-created investment fund Nastor Investments. Nastor is controlled by funds managed by North Atlantic Value, which has total funds under management of about &pound;506m. Mills has been buying shares in Celsis since October of last year, helping boost its share price and keep it at a level higher than it otherwise would have been.<br /><br />Commenting on the offer, Mills said: &ldquo;We believe that Celsis is a good company with strong operational management. Yet the costs that it incurs in being publicly listed are relatively high for a company of its size. Therefore, we believe it will benefit from going forward as a private entity.&rdquo;<br /><br />He added: &ldquo;We look forward to supporting the company in a more cost effective corporate structure.&rdquo;<br /><br />The bid price of 232.5p a share is 14.3 per cent higher than the closing price of Celsis on Friday.<br /><br />Mills is a founding director of JO Hambro Capital Management. Before joining JO Hambro Capital Management he worked for Samuel Montagu, Montagu Investment Management nd its successor company, Invesco MIM until 1993. He was a director of Invesco MIM and held positions as Head of North American Investments and Head of North American venture Capital.