Pochin bid goes unconditional

The take-private offer for Middlewich-based contractor and developer Pochin's has moved a step closer to completion after 91% of shareholders accepted the bid.

Pochin's property director Jim Nicholson has been leading talks to take the company private since mid-December, as part of the Cedric Pochin Concert Party which includes Jim's mother and non-executive director Sylvia Nicholson.

The cash offer, which values Pochin's at £9.4m, was made by Middlewich, a newly incorporated company formed for the specific purpose of enabling the Cedric Pochin Concert Party to make the offer.

The Cedric Pochin Concert Party has a 42% interest in the company.

As part of the deal, Pochin's Midpoint property portfolio will be sold to the retirement fund of Pochin non-executive director and shareholder Michael Chadwick for £11.5m.

The vote was held at an extraordinary general meeting yesterday when 91% of shareholders voted to take the business private.

The offer is now "unconditional as to acceptances", and will remain open for at least a further two weeks should anyone wish to vote to oppose.

Nicholson said: "This is a great opportunity to take the business forward and safeguard its long-term stability. It will ensure Pochin has a strong financial footing to capitalise on the improving construction and commercial property sectors.

"We have considerably benefitted from the skills knowledge and expertise of Pochin's employees and have no current intention to change the strategic direction, location, conditions of employment or operations. Pochin PLC is a business built with a reputation for quality, craftsmanship and service.

"These are the values that we have always stood-by. They are the values that are shared by all of our loyal and committed team, which has ensured we've been able to work with the best partners, clients, consultants and suppliers in the industry.

"We believe that this deal will deliver a sustainable future for the business."

Pochin has been publicly listed for 50 years.

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