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Last Updated: Friday, 22 April, 2005, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
Bob the Builder suitor walks away
Bob the Builder
Is Bob becoming less attractive?
Bob the Builder has lost a potential suitor after a company that was examining the books of his owner Hit Entertainment decided to walk away.

Hit has put itself up for sale and in March recommended that shareholders accept a 489.4m ($935m) takeover bid from investment firm Apax Partners.

Two other firms are interested but one, widely thought to be Classic Media, has decided not to pursue a deal.

Hit's shares lost 2.4% to 309.5 pence in London following the announcement.

Mystery firm?

Bob the Builder

Hit has never identified the company that dropped out on Friday, though it is widely thought to be Classic Media, which owns the rights to Lassie and Casper the Friendly Ghost.

One rival bidder, confirmed as Canada's Lion Gate Entertainment, still remains and is conducting a due diligence review, Hit said.

Hit became a takeover target after its share price and profits dropped amid difficult trading conditions.

In addition to Bob the Builder, Hit Entertainment also owns the rights to Thomas the Tank Engine, Barney the Dinosaur, Angelina Ballerina and Pingu.

Earnings have been hit by a drop in the value of the US dollar and sluggish consumer demand.

Bid made for Bob the Builder firm
21 Mar 05 |  Business
Buyout speculation surrounds Hit
20 Mar 05 |  Business
Bob the Builder to be radio star
11 Feb 05 |  Entertainment
HIT denies it has held bid talks
14 Nov 04 |  Business

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