Andor angered by Oxford takeover announcement

OxfordIThe scientific camera manufacturer Andor Technology reacted angrily this morning to an announcement by Abingdon-based Oxford Instruments that it is to make an offer for the Belfast company.

While announcing half year profits of £20.6m Oxford Instruments said it was looking at acquisitions “that share routes to market … and offer opportunities for growth in the Nano-Bio market”.

Its statement to shareholders went on: “As announced this morning, one avenue we are exploring is through the  potential acquisition of Andor, a UK based high-technology company specialising in the manufacture of high-end scientific cameras, microscope systems and analytical software for the material and life science industries. Andor’s technology would extend our capability into the optical domain, which is the primary technology used for analysing biological samples at the nano scale.”

 

In response, Andor said it had first received an indicative cash offer from Oxford Instruments in July and since then had co-operated with Oxford Instruments in the provision of commercial and financial due diligence and held a number of face-to-face meetings which had resulted in a 19% increase in the indicative cash offer price per share to 500p. During that time Andor’s share price has increased by over 30%.

However, a statement to the London Stock Exchange went on: “The Board of Andor is disappointed that, having only made the indicative proposal on 8 November, Oxford Instruments has chosen to make today’s announcement, which the Board of Andor considers to be premature and unhelpful in light of ongoing discussions. Given the level of uncertainty and conditionality, the Board of Andor felt that it could not properly consider the proposal, but it did confirm to Oxford Instruments that it remained willing to continue discussions to explore whether a definitive, acceptable offer might be found that was in the interests of Andor shareholders.”

Copyright Ken Hurst 2013

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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