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VT to make final offer by 8 March

The London Stock Exchange’s Panel Executive has given VT Group a deadline of 8 March to make a final offer to buy, or give up on, consultant Mouchel.

Both VT Group and Mouchel have accepted the ruling, made by the Panel Executive in a statement to the stock exechenge today:

“Following discussions with both parties’ advisers, the Panel Executive has ruled that, unless the Panel Executive consents otherwise, VT must, by 5.00 p.m. on 8 March 2010, either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Mouchel under Rule 2.5 of the Code or announce that it does not intend to make an offer for Mouchel.

“In the event that VT announces that it does not intend to make an offer for Mouchel, VT and any person(s) acting in concert with it will, except with the consent of the Panel Executive, be bound by the restrictions contained in Rule 2.8 of the Code for six months from the date of such announcement,” it read.

VT Group made two approaches to buy Mouchel, the first of 247p per share which was rejected out of hand, and then a second offer in December 2009, which offered 260p per share, which VT Group asked Mouchel to address.

Mouchel are understood to be holding out for 300p per share.

Mouchel’s share price has risen dramatically on the back of the takeover speculation, rising more than £1 per share - from 151.5p on December 9, to a high of 266.8p on 31 December.

The share price has since stabilised in the region of 250-255p.

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