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Takeover brings Hyder stock market listing

HYDER IS expected to become the latest consultant to obtain a stock market listing later this month.

It will secure the listing via a reverse takeover of Firth Holdings, a Stock Exchange listed firm, which has lain dormant since selling or closing down its aircraft components, property developments and logistics management businesses in 1999.

The deal is seen as a quick and cheap way for the firm to get a listing without paying merchant bankers and lawyers to help it apply for one formally.

It involves the issue of £8.6M in shares and £6M in debt to Hyder shareholders, subject to a vote of Firth shareholders later this month.

News of the takeover comes 20 months after Hyder managers staged a buyout from Welsh Water in 2001 (NCE 1 February 2001).

At the time Hyder chief executive Tim Wade said the firm aimed to increase turnover to £200M within five years.

Figures released last week show that turnover fell from £136.3M in 2000 to £119M in the year to 31 March 2002. The firm made a pre tax profit of £2.5M, down from the £6.2M figure recorded in 2001.

Hyder could use access to the stock market to raise finance for acquisitions and investment, which could boost turnover and profitability as the firm taps into rising demand for infrastructure.

Under the terms of the deal Hyder chief executive Tim Wade and finance director Simon Hamilton-Eddy will take charge of Firth and will own 30.3% of the shares.

Firth will also change its name to Hyder Consulting plc.

INFOPLUS www. hyder-consulting.co.uk

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