MANCHESTER, England (March 10)—The board of British Vita P.L.C. has rejected an improved buyout offer from Texas Pacific Group, saying the latest bid "continues to undervalue British Vita and its prospects."
Texas Pacific, the Fort Worth, Texas-based private equity group with more than $15 billion in assets, increased its cash bid March 10 for Vita 5.4 percent to about $6.53 per share, valuing the bid at $1.3 billion.
In rejecting the offer, Vita's board said shareholders "should be allowed to benefit from the measures designed to enhance shareholder value" announced by the company earlier this week.
The board also called on Texas Pacific to "clarify whether this latest and third proposal is final and will not be increased or, alternatively, to state what is its final offer."
Vita's 2004 pretax earnings were up 46.9 percent to $96.3 million on 2-percent higher sales of $1.76 billion, the firm disclosed March 7. Management expects further improvements in 2005.