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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dods share price too conservative?

News today that Mike Danson, who sold \Datamonitor a few years ago or more than £200m, has now sold his stake in Dods (formerly Huveaux), to the Deputy Chairman of the Conservative party, Michael Ashcroft.  Just last week the company acknowledged that it had been approached by several parties about a possible takeover.  The assumption was that Wilmington was the lead bidder.

If a deal gets done then the rumoured offer price was around 15p.  Last week the shares were at 11p.  With Danson having sold his 23% stake for 13.5p to Ashcroft the share price has drifted up to 13p - awful close to the likely bid price.  So what is Achcroft up to?  Hard to believe he is in for the quick buck of a 2p gain.  Either he will pressure the Board to hold out for more, or maybe he has plans of his own.  Hard to see how his political affiliations woudln't compromise the perceived editorial independence of the Dods brand though.  If I were him I wouldn't be expecting an invitation to join the Board anytime soon.

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