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Tuesday, 1 August, 2000, 07:03 GMT 08:03 UK
Hyder battle continues
Hyder logo
Welsh utility Hyder has said shareholders should accept an improved 495m takeover offer from Japanese investment bank Nomura.

The improved offer - up from 260p per share to 320p per share - could bring an end to the three and a half month take-over battle.

It beats the rival bid from US utility Western Power Distribution of 300p per share.

But the American firm refused to throw in the towel, saying it was considering making a renewed approach for the company at a premium to Nomura's latest offer.

Hyder's board had initially backed Nomura's overtures but later withdrew its support until regulatory concerns had been considered by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Stephen Byers.

Uncertainty continues

Mr Byers announced in June that Nomura's bid would not be referred to competition authorities and so cleared the way for today's fresh approach from the Japanese company.

Hyder had considered breaking up the company, an idea it had put forward as a potential alternative to takeover by either of the two suitors.

"Whilst the board has reviewed an alternative option involving the break-up of the group, it has concluded that the execution risks are too great when compared with ... the new offer," said Hyder chief executive Graham Hawker.

Guy Hands, managing director of Nomura's Principal Finance Group, said: "We hope this brings to an end a period of uncertainty for Hyder employees, customers and shareholders, and we look forward to concluding this transaction swiftly."

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See also:

07 Jul 00 | Wales
Snub leads to Hyder job fears
13 Jul 00 | Business
Hyder holds back dividend
27 Jul 00 | Business
Japanese bank buys up UK plc
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