Failed SEP bid for IndigoVision ‘close to 400p’

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SCOTTISH Equity Partners is believed to have offered close to 400p a share to take control of technology company IndigoVision, The Scotsman has learned.

The board of the Edinburgh firm rejected its approach and SEP, together with ousted chief executive Oliver Vellacott, ended talks on 20 January. Shareholders at the time bombarded bulletin boards criticising SEP, although the price was not disclosed.

The shares have risen since then but the proposed offer was 21 per cent higher than last night’s 330p close and 31 per cent higher than the 305p close when SEP withdrew its interest. SEP last night declined to comment.

In a trading statement yesterday IndigoVision revealed it spent £100,000 on the talks process and a further £200,000 owed to Vellacott. Its shares rose 5.6 per cent yesterday after reporting a “strong recovery” in first-half operating performance.

Sales for the six months ending today are expected to be just below the record levels achieved in the corresponding period last year. It said there has been a sharp recovery in gross margins. The company expects a fall in operating costs, allowing operating profits for the half year to exceed £1.5 million before exceptional items, ahead of last year. The interim results are due on 14 March.

Chairman Hamish Grossart said: “It is gratifying to report a return to double digit operating margins and an improving sales picture. The restructured management team has got off to an excellent start.”