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Eldridge Pope confirms Cannon takeover talks

09 September 2004
Eldridge Pope confirms Cannon takeover talks

Embattled pub company Eldridge Pope confirmed today that it is in talks with entrepreneur Michael Cannon that could lead to a takeover of the business.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, the company said it was in discussions with Cannon's company SDA that "may lead to a recommended offer being made".

In May Cannon bought 1.5 million shares in the company, taking his stake to 22.34%, in the process fuelling speculation that he was close to bidding for the company.

He failed in a bid to take control of the company in August last year, at the time garnering only 2% of shareholder support for a 165p-per-share offer.

But the company has been struggling of late, making a takeover a much more attractive proposition for shareholders.

In May it reported half-year figures, to April, showing a loss before tax and exceptional items of £909,000, compared with a loss of £69,000 at the same point the year before, although the 2003 figure included a £458,000 profit from five additional trading days.

by Nic Paton

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