COSALT shareholders have just over two weeks to decide on chairman David Ross’s takeover bid for the engineering firm as the businessman draws closer to owning the company outright.
The company’s investors have received the details of an improved offer from the Carphone Warehouse co-founder, valuing Cosalt at just over £800,000.
Mr Ross’s revised 0.2p-a-share offer came less than a month after the non-executive chairman moved to take over Cosalt and delist the business from the Stock Exchange. Since Mr Ross increased his offer, the deadline for shareholders to decide whether they will accept it or not has been extended to Monday, January 9.
The non-executive chairman already controls 49.32% of Cosalt shares and needs to command 50% before he can take the company private.
Mr Ross made a bid for the company soon after it revealed its debts were standing at £14million and it was close to running out of money.
He loaned Cosalt £5million to keep it afloat, having already provided Cosalt with £17.6million of funds, loans and guarantees in the past five years, and that funding has been extended to January 10 – after the deadline for shareholders.
He is willing to extend the loan again if his takeover succeeds
In a letter to shareholders, Mr Ross revealed Cosalt’s debts had increased to £15.9million.
Non-executive director Maurice White also wrote to Cosalt investors and urged them to back the offer and said the company’s board supported the deal.
Mr White said: “The independent Cosalt directors remain of the view that the company continues to be in a difficult financial position.
“As such, the recommended increased offer represents the most realistic means of securing the company’s future.”
Cosalt employs about 360 people, including 250 at its Aberdeen-based offshore division.