Pace shares gain speed on takeover talk

SHARES in set-top box maker Pace lifted another 3.5 per cent yesterday on takeover rumours.

The Saltaire-based company, the world’s biggest maker of set-top boxes, closed up 3.6p at 105.5p. Its shares have gained 8.6 per cent over the past week.

Reports said the company could attract an approach worth between 150p and 175p a share, with potential suitors being named as Cisco, BSkyB, Samsung and Panasonic.

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Pace, which is undergoing a strategic review after a profits warning in May, declined to comment on “unfounded rumours”. Its shares have been depressed since the shock warning, which initially wiped 40 per cent off its valuation.

Seymour Pierce analyst Ian Robertson said he struggled to see who would buy the company.

“There’s a potential for someone to take it out on a financial valuation but from an industry point of view, everybody has got their own problems or are lacking firepower.”