Unrest builds at Delta as funds slam US takeover

DELTA, the engineered steel firm, faces a growing revolt from its shareholders after long-only fund managers added to criticism of a takeover attempt by Valmont of the US.

Several well-known institutions have told Delta chairman Steven Marshall they want to force up Valmont’s offer of 185p per share, which values the British company at close to £300m. Delta ended the day at 191.75p yesterday.

One said Valmont’s offer needed to be north of 210p, adding: “A takeover offer should provide a premium – not be at a discount.”

A second fund manager described Delta’s early acceptance of the offer as “a strategic mistake”.

The long-only investors join hedge fund Crystal Amber, which wrote a letter of complaint to Delta earlier this week, in demanding the reinstatement of the 2009 dividend. Valmont plans to scrap the 4.8p final payout as part of its takeover.