Charter cheers as Melrose sweetens offer to £1.44bn

CHARTER International moved a step closer to selling out to Melrose yesterday as it agreed to open its books to the investment group in response to a sweetened offer.

Melrose raised its cash and share offer for Charter for a third time to 850p, valuing the business at £1.44bn, just days after Charter revealed it was in talks with another potential bidder.

Charter’s shares rose more than five per cent after it said it had started talks with Melrose on the sweetener.

Both sides appeared pleased with the offer, which is an 18p gain on the previous offer as Charter investors will keep an 8p-per-share interim dividend.

Charter is also likely to ask the Takeover Panel to extend Melrose’s put-up-and-shut-up deadline to 21 September.