Colfax stalls Charter offer for one week

ENGINEERING group Charter International had to delay giving shareholders the full details of the offer from US buyer Colfax for another week, it said yesterday.

Charter’s board was due to publish the full scheme of arrangement for the takeover yesterday but it asked the Takeover Panel to grant it another week’s grace as it finalises the structure of the offer it recommended in September.

Colfax offered Charter shareholders 910p per share in cash and shares to be disbursed through a mix and match facility that would allow each investor to elect to take up their preferred combination of the two.

The extension to the Takeover Panel deadline for Colfax’s offer suggests details of the mix and match facility are still being worked out.

“The Takeover Panel has agreed with Charter and Colfax to extend the date by which the circular to shareholders in connection with the Scheme must be posted, from Monday 10 October 2011 until Monday 17 October 2011,” Charter said in a statement.

Charter’s board backed the £1.5bn offer from Colfax, a smaller company, after UK-based rival Melrose indicated it wanted to buy Charter for up to 850p, or a total £1.4bn.

Colfax trumped Melrose’s two bids with its higher offer, but saw a backlash from Charter’s long-term investors Schroders and Aviva Investors, which said they had been disappointed with the outcome.

Charter shares closed up 0.2 per cent at 872p while Colfax was 2.4 per cent higher in afternoon trading.