July 4, 2008 / 8:58 AM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Laxey agrees to buy UK's TDG for $403 mln

(Adds additional deal details, updates shares.)

By Hsu Chuang Khoo

LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) - 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)

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