Good morning, it's Paul here.

Just a quick reminder that it's the last day of the tax year. So the last chance to add up to £20k into our ISAs for the 2017/18 tax year, and any other tax planning measures that you might wish to undertake.




Airea (LON:AIEA)

Share price: 59p
No. shares: 41.4m
Market cap: 24.4m

(at the time of writing, I hold a long position in this share) 

Possible takeover bid

Interesting news for shareholders here. Floorcoverings distributor, James Halstead (LON:JHD) has announced that it is in the early stages of considering a bid for Airea;

James Halstead plc ("James Halstead") notes the recent movement in the share price of Airea plc ("Airea") and confirms that the Board of directors of James Halstead (the "Board") is at the very early stages of evaluating making an offer for Airea which could lead to an offer being made for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Airea (the "Possible Offer").
As a consequence of this announcement, an "Offer Period" has commenced in respect of Airea in accordance with the rules of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the "Code").


There was an excellent results statement, with lots of positives in it, which I reported on recently here, on 21 Mar 2018.

The big pension scheme (which is now quite well funded) could be an obstacle to a bid. Although in some cases, agreement can be reached with pension fund trustees whereby an acquirer injects a one-off cash sum into the pension scheme, in order to get the green light for the acquisition.

I've got mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it's always nice to get a portfolio boost from a takeover bid, if the premium is sufficient. On the other hand, Airea has already committed to a 6p special dividend, and looks to be on a roll (geddit?!) operationally. It would be a shame to have the upside whipped away from us, before the big surge in profitability comes through (from closure of its heavily loss-making carpets business). Its commercial flooring operation is highly profitable.

Anyway, I'm writing this just before the market opens, so don't know how much the share price will rise today. My…

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