(Adds additional deal details, updates shares.)
By Hsu Chuang Khoo
LONDON, July 4 British logistics and supply
chain firm TDG plc TDG.L agreed on Friday to be bought by
Bidco, a company formed by hedge fund Laxey Partners, for 203
million pounds ($403 million), boosting TDG's shares.
Under a larger plan, Bidco will go on to become a private
equity investor in undervalued small and mid-size companies such
as TDG, and will apply to be listed on London's junior AIM
market some time from October.
Laxey's offer of 250 pence in cash for each TDG share is
lower than its initial bid of 275 pence in February and comes
after rival bidder, British supply chain group Wincanton
(WIN.L), pulled out of the race last month.
While TDG said the offer was an 11 percent premium over its
closing price the day before talks were announced, they are some
way off its 320 pence high reached in May 2008.
Under a related proposal, Bidco will also buy all the shares
in The Laxey Investment Trust plc LAX.L (TLIT).
TDG shares rose 9 percent to 243.25 pence, while TLIT surged
22 percent to 111 pence at 0831 GMT.
Laxey, which already controls about 22 percent of TDG, said
it plans to help it develop TDG's property portfolio.
TDG has 133 distribution and warehousing sites and 7,200
employees across Europe.
Laxey is a global value investor that manages assets and
funds for institutional investors including in listed closed-end
funds, hedge funds, real estate opportunity funds and private
equity investments. At end-December it had net assets under
management of about $1.7 billion.
Shareholders of TDG, which will be de-listed following the
exercise, can also receive in exchange for each TDG share a sum
of 200 pence in cash plus 6.625 shares in a company formed by
Laxey to facilitate the deal.
TDG reported pretax profit of 15.8 million pounds ($31.37
million) on revenue of 669.5 million pounds in 2007, with net
assets of 171 million pounds.
Half-year trading to end-June was ahead of previous
expectations and well ahead of the comparable period in 2007,
TDG said last month.
(Reporting by Hsu Chuang Khoo, editing by Will Waterman)