John Swan bought for £8.2m

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John Swan & Sons, the venerable livestock auctioneer, has agreed to a recommended takeover offer following months of talks.

The deal, which values the Edinburgh-based company at £8.2 million, was unveiled in December but several extensions were granted for negotiations between it and Carlisle-based suitor H&H Group.

John Swan – one of Scotland’s smallest quoted companies – was founded in 1856, operating out of a mart in the Berwickshire town of Earlston. During the late 1800s and early 1900s the firm continued to open and run mart operations in East Lothian, Fife, Perth and Edinburgh.

However, the Edinburgh site closed in 2001 after falling victim to the foot and mouth crisis and the company now trades out of Newtown St Boswells and Wooler.

Chairman Alastair Ritchie said: “We are delighted that H&H has confirmed that it is to proceed with the acquisition of John Swan. Our respective businesses have a long and proud trading history.”

News of the deal, which equates to 1,350p per share, came as John Swan announced an increase in profit for the year to £64,729 on revenues of £1.9m.

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