Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Takeover Speculation Boosts SSL Shares Price

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Takeover Speculation Boosts SSL Shares Price

Article excerpt

The maker of Durex condoms is at the centre of takeover speculation today as talk of an imminent pounds 885.5m bid for the firm swept the market.

SSL International, which also owns the Scholl footcare business and a pharmacy business which employs 250 at its Peterlee factory, saw its shares soar by as much as 13% as the City reacted to the prospect of a possible 465p a share bid from a trade buyer or a private equity bidder.

A host of consumer players including baby care company Johnson & Johnson, cosmetics firm L'Oreal, household cleaning goods company Reckitt Benckiser and cleaning and healthcare manufacturer Procter & Gamble have all been linked with potential SSL bids. Peter Cartwright, an analyst at Evolution Securities, said a trade buyer was more likely than a private equity firm.

He said: "The likes of Reckitt and Procter & Gamble have always been linked with the firm as the brands are good. A trade buyer would get the brands but it could wind down the company's distribution networks, head office, and infrastructure, and make cost savings. …

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