Lavendon rejects approaches by Belgium's TVH

By Richard High03 December 2010

Lavendon has rejected two acquisition approaches from Belgian parts specialist TVH Services, the main business of Group Thermote & Vanhalst.

The most recent approach was on 30 November, when TVH made a cash offering equivalent to a 40.5% premium on Lavendon's closing price on 30 November.

Rejecting TVH's offer on December 1, Lavendon said it had concluded the approach was "opportunistic" and "significantly undervalued" the company.

However, TVH maintains Lavendon is an "attractive, well positioned business", but its ability to "exploit new growth opportunities and invest into the economic recovery is somewhat limited by its capital constraints." It said it would be able to accelerate any investment needed to take full advantage of the economic recovery and grow Lavendon's competitive position.

TVH is currently considering its position, although no discussions are currently taking place, said a company spokesman. However, it will make further announcements "as appropriate". It also said it "reserves the right to make an offer at any time."

Lavendon's latest Interim Management Statement (IMS), issued on 16 November showed it's trading performance had improved in the third and fourth quarters of 2010.

At the time it believed this improvement would be maintained for the rest of 2010 and it would deliver a full year result in line with its expectations.

The IMS added the company was making good progress in appointing two new non-executive directors and had "commenced a broad review of the business to identify and prioritise performance improvement opportunities to help shape the future strategy and investment programme of the Group."

Established in 1969, privately owned TVH Group is a specialist in parts and service for industrial forklift trucks and also sells used forklifts, operating worldwide. More recently it has moved into parts for aerial platforms and also operates a mid-sized access rental operation in Belgium. Based in Waregem, Belgium, it employs 2100 people and operates in more than 160 countries.

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