Flying Brands shares surge on news of sale

SHARES in Flying Brands, the Jersey-based mail order firm in which Ayrshire tycoon Sir Tom Hunter owns a 29 per cent stake, jumped 8 per cent yesterday after it unveiled plans to sell its gifts division.

The company wants to offload the business – which includes the Flying Flowers and Flowers Direct brands – to rival Interflora for £2.6 million in cash.

The proposed sale price is less than the book value of the gifts division’s assets, which were £3.2m on 1 July. Shareholders will be asked to vote on the deal.

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Interflora is seeking clearance from the Office of Fair Trading for the purchase to go ahead.

A series of profit warnings last year sparked a restructuring at Flying Brands, with its properties at Meadow Springs and Retreat Farm on Jersey being sold in December. Selling the gifts division would leave the company with its bird food and gardening supplies businesses.

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