Tuesday 18 February 2014

Predator circles Sweett Group

Here is a very interesting tale about one of Britain’s oldest quantity surveyors. I hear Sweett Group, formerly known as Cyril Sweett, has attracted a suitor.

Well-placed sources tell me WSP, which is now owned by Canada’s Genivar Inc, has been sniffing around Sweett Group over the last six months or so. 

My understanding is that talks between WSP and Sweett Group, which was founded in 1928 by Mr Cyril Sweett, were quite advanced until the deal was put on ice in early January.

Bankers from Barlcays were working with WSP while Sweett Group was being advised by Westhouse, according to my sources.  

Apparently, discussions were so advanced that some of Sweett’s largest shareholders had already provided “irrevocable undertakings” to WSP.  

However, it is not clear why talks between WSP - which itself was taken over by Genivar Inc for £278m in 2012 - and Sweett Group’s board collapsed or whether they are likely to be revived.

People close to Sweett Group have previously tried to pour cold water on any approach from WSP but trust me I am very sure the latter made an approach for the former in the last couple of months. 

To be clear, I don't think there are discussions taking place at the moment but my sources reckon talks between WSP and Sweett might eventually be rekindled in the next few months.

If so, these sources believe WSP will have to pay between 90p and 100p a share for Sweett Group. However, one person close to the matter said the previous approach from WSP was a bit lower than 90p – 100p. Watch this space!   

Sweett Group and WSP both declined to comment. 

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