Cape bids £95m for PCH Group after demand from shareholders

ACQUISITIVE Yorkshire energy services company Cape has made a £95m cash offer for Australian scaffolding and hoist company PCH Group.

The deal follows on-off talks with PCH, which finally collapsed earlier this summer.

Cape said yesterday that in spite of the termination of talks in early August, it believed the acquisition represents an attractive opportunity for PCH shareholders and they should get the chance to decide on the merits of the offer for themselves.

Wakefield-based Cape added that a significant number of PCH shareholders had asked that the offer should be made available to them, in spite of the current standstill agreement.

Cape's offer represents a premium of 91 per cent to the closing price of PCH shares on February 21, the day before PCH announced it had received a proposal from Cape.

Cape chief executive Martin May said: "We call on all PCH shareholders to make their views known directly to the board of PCH so PCH shareholders can decide on the merits of Cape's offer themselves." Little love

was lost between the two

boards when talks finally collapsed in August.

The announcement yesterday came just two days after

Cape agreed to buy another Australian scaffolding equipment company Concept Hire in a deal that values the company at about 52.4m.

Cape said both cash deals would be funded through existing bank facilities.

Concept Hire is a leading supplier of scaffold equipment and services to the residential and commercial construction, civil engineering, mining and petrochemical industries.

The directors of Concept Hire unanimously recommended shareholders to accept the offer in the absence of a superior proposal. Last month Cape announced plans to expand

into Australia with the

purchase of Total Corrosion Control (TCC) Group for up

to 40m.

TCC which operates mainly in Western Australia, offers a

wide range of industrial services to blue chip clients in the

mining, oil, gas and construction industries.