Inspec's Belgian sale fuels takeover fever

14 April 1998 20:12  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (CNI)--The disposal of its commodity chemicals business in Belgium for £84m ($140m) helped send Inspec shares up 14% to £2.77 on the London Stock Exchange Tuesday as analysts speculated that the company was now an even more attractive takeover target.

Michael Eastwood of Dresdner Kleinwort Benson said a bidder might be expected to pay around £4.00 a share, valuing the group at £700m.

Inspec has agreed to sell its Antwerp-based business to Ineos, a newly-formed management buy-out company led by Inspec director James Ratcliffe. The sale, at little more than book value, takes Inspec out of the cyclical commodities chemicals business and consolidates its position as a focused speciality and fine chemicals producer.

Inspec will use the proceeds to reduce debt.

By: Neil Sinclair
+44 20 8652 3214

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