Williams Holdings Plc has made a UKP330m recommended offer for electronics and fire protection group Pilgrim House Plc. Under the terms of the bid Pilgrim shareholders will be offered 25 new Williams convertible preference shares for 10 ordinary shares, based on Williams’ share price of 280 pence at close of business on Friday. The new […]
Williams Holdings Plc has made a UKP330m recommended offer for electronics and fire protection group Pilgrim House Plc. Under the terms of the bid Pilgrim shareholders will be offered 25 new Williams convertible preference shares for 10 ordinary shares, based on Williams’ share price of 280 pence at close of business on Friday. The new shares are valued at 106 pence each, representing an offer price of 265p per Pilgrim share, 33% over the closing price last Friday. Shareholders can alternatively elect for 21 new Williams shares plus 424p in cash. Pilgrim House – formerly RHP Group – acquired Burgess Group last January and now employs 6,000 people. Following the sale of its bearings division last December the major part of Pilgrim’s activities has been specialist electronics and fire protection. Pilgrim owns the old established British telecommunications equipment manufacturer Muirhead, its first electronic acquisition, which is now primarily a facsimile machine distributor, and also manufactures micro-switches and control products in the UK, Europe and the US; while it produces in the UK and Europe products for detecting and controlling fires and explosions in high risk environments. For the year ending October 2 1987 the group saw pre-tax profits of UKP21.9m on turnover of UKP177.6m; pre tax profit for the six months to April 1 this year were UKP11.7m, on UKP78.1m. The company’s UKP150m bid for Kidde Fire Protection described as a strategic realignment – ran into trouble last week with the news that US anti-trust clearance had been delayed. Pilgrim has since been forced to cancel a UKP41.4m vendor placing at 171p per share and the whole of the consideration is now expected to be satisfied in cash. A Williams spokesman said that if those shares had been issued we wouldn’t have offered 265p but a lower number; but it is believed that thge company remains committed to the deal. Williams, which owns 4.8% of Pilgrim House, saw its shares drop 7p to 275p on the news, while Pilgrim jumped 49p to 249p. The bidder currently employs 13,000 people and is organised on a geographical basis as Williams Europe and Williams America. It reported pre-tax profits of UKP56.5m on trnover of UKP462.7m for the year ending December 31 1987; and pre tax profits for the six months to June 30 were UKP50.5m, on turnover of UKP400.5m. Its interests include consumer and building products, paints, industrial and military products, vehicle distribution and engineering. In Europe Pilgrim sells electrical and electronic control in the commercial, industrial and defence sectors: Nigel Rudd, chairman of Williams, believes the acquisition will expand the group’s industrial and military projects sector and balance the mix and geographical spread.