Third time lucky for Cinven as it snaps up Spice at 70p per share

SPICE, the UK’s biggest installer of water meters, yesterday succumbed to a £251.1m takeover bid from Cinven, after the private equity group twice sweetened its offer.

Cinven submitted its recommended bid through its investment vehicle Cilantro Acquisitions at 70p per share, after offering 54p a share for the firm in May and raising the bid to 62p-65p in July.

Spice chief executive Martin Towers said the offer would prove “good for customers, employees and shareholders” alike.

He added: “Cinven is a highly credible institution with substantial funds at its disposal. As an investor, Cinven will take a long-term perspective on our business with a view to supporting continued delivery of excellent service levels to our customers and opportunities for our employees.”

The 70p-per-share offer represents a 5.3 per cent premium to Spice’s closing share price of 66.5p last Friday, though it remains substantially lower than the 130p highs at which the stock was trading prior to the financial crisis in 2007.

Spice was advised by boutique Hawkpoint and Cinven by investment bank Altium.