Melrose ups Charter offer

ENGINEERING turnaround firm Melrose has increased its offer for Charter International to 840p per share, valuing the welding equipment supplier at about £1.4bn.

The improved offer comes after Charter rebuffed a 780p per share approach from Melrose late last month, the board stating that the bid undervalued the company.

The struggling firm, which saw the exit of chief executive Michael Foster last month, said it would consider the fresh offer.

The industrial equipment supplier issued a profit warning last month, sending its shares plummeting by a quarter to 538.5p per unit, and putting pressure on Foster to quit.

Chairman Lars Emilson has been in executive control of the otherwise rudderless company since.

Melrose said its renewed offer represented a 40 per cent premium over Charter’s closing share price on the day prior to its original approach.

Shares in the firm had been 615p per unit before the bid was confirmed on 28 June, although shot up to 816p by the end of the week.

“The board of Charter is considering this proposal and a further announcement will be made in due course,” Charter said.

ADVISERS: INVESTEC

KEITH ANDERSON
INVESTEC

KEITH Anderson is acting as lead corporate adviser to Melrose for Investec.

As the bank’s co-head of corporate broking, he has advised a range of top clients on their finances. He recently worked on a £63m rights issue for Workspace, the listed office manager.

Anderson joined Investec in 2002 having been previously at WestLB Panmure, where he was head of corporate broking and a member of the investment banking management committee. He is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

Rothschild managing partner Ravi Gupta is also financial adviser to Melrose.

Charter’s corporate brokers JP Morgan Cazenove and RBS are representing the firm.

Charter brought in the expertise of Goldman bankers Dominic Lee and Adrian Beidas to advise on the Melrose bid at the end of last month.