Charter investors press board over Melrose bid

LEADING shareholders in Charter International have called on the firm to open its books to Melrose, the takeover specialist pursuing a £1.4bn bid for the engineer.

A number of investors including Schroders – the engineering group’s second biggest shareholder – have urged the board to allow Melrose to conduct due diligence.

Charter has refused to open its books despite the announcement earlier this week that Melrose would consider increasing its indicative offer of 840p a share if it was allowed to do due diligence.

Smaller shareholders, including several hedge funds who represent between 10-20 per cent of Charter, have also spoken out in favour of Charter opening its books to Melrose, known for its success in turning around troubled engineering firms.

Charter’s new chief executive Gareth Rhys Williams sought to defend against an approach at its interim results last week and saying the firm was capable of “dramatic improvement.”