Jeweller raises studio stake despite credits rolling on takeover

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A JEWELLERY retailer is continuing to build up a stake in film studio owner Pinewood Shepperton despite Peel Holdings yesterday declaring its bid unconditional.

Warren James, which has 115 shops, told The Scotsman it was interested in buying up further shares at 210p which is 10p higher than the 200p Peel has offered.

Peel yesterday said it had acceptances for 63 per cent of the shares and planned to delist Pinewood if it secured the 75 per cent majority needed.

Although Warren James, which now owns 17 per cent of Pinewood, will not be able to block the takeover, it has made it difficult for Peel to reach the 90 per cent needed in order to force any remaining investors to sell their shares.

Guy Lightowler, head of commerce for Warren James, said the Pinewood stake was va "strategic holding", adding: "We have been a shareholder since 2007 and we continue to believe in the long-erm value of the company."

He described speculation that Warren James was trying to force a higher offer from Peel or believed a rival bidder was about to enter the fray as "reading too much into the situation".