BUS and coach maker Alexander Dennis yesterday withdrew its interest in smaller rival Optare just a day after telling the stock market that it had asked for more information on the firm.
The Falkirk company released a statement saying it had received information on Wednesday night from Optare’s financial adviser, Cenkos Securities, that the company’s majority shareholder, Indian firm Ashok Leyland, had “no intention” of selling its holding “to anyone at any price”.
Chennai-based Ashok owns 26 per cent of Optare, but that holding will rise to 75.1 per cent if Optare’s shareholders next month approve a deal to raise £4 million through a share placing with the Indian heavyweight. However, a statement issued later by Optare said it had informed Alexander Dennis’s advisers of the situation on 24 December.
The statement read: “Following receipt of a request for information [by Alexander Dennis] on the afternoon of 23 December, the independent directors [of Optare] sought clarification from Ashok Leyland as to whether they had any interest in selling their stake in Optare.
“ADL’s advisers were informed by e-mailed letter on 24 December that Ashok Leyland would not be interested and, in consequence, the independent directors asked for clarification as to whether ADL would still be interested in making a possible offer for the remaining 74 per cent of the shares in the company.”