Quarto Group shares plunge as mystery bidder pulls out

Quarto Group (LON:QRT) shares fell on Wednesday, after the company announced that an initial bidder had dropped out of acquisition negotiations.

The publisher announced last month that it had entered negotiations with an unnamed buyer.

However, as talks progressed it became clear that the deal was unlikely to receive regulatory approval in time.

“Recognising the importance of delivering a strong finish to the year and after carefully considering the interests of all shareholders, the board was not prepared to prolong discussions further to avoid distraction to management at such a critical time of year for the business,” Quarto said in a statement released on Wednesday morning.

“Therefore, by mutual agreement, the board can confirm that it has terminated discussions with the potential acquirer.”

Commenting on the decision by the Board, Chief Executive, Marcus Leaver said:

“This was an unsolicited offer and while it was pitched at an attractive premium, the Board considers it imperative that the Company remains focused on delivering a strong finish to the year. I welcome the clarity which this decision brings.”

Earlier this month the publisher’s half-year results failed to impress investors, with revenues dropping to $50 million in the six months ended 30 June, down from the $58 million during the same period a year before. However, market concerns were mitigated by the now redundant potential takeover announcement. 

Nevertheless, Chief Executive Leaver remained confident of future company outlook, adding:

“As I said at the time of the interim results, we have an excellent publishing programme for the Autumn and the Holiday period – one of our strongest in the last few years – and everyone at Quarto is fully focused on executing our plans and maximising the opportunities in the second half of the year.”

Quarto Group was one of the biggest fallers on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning, plunging as much 23.5 percent amid the news.

Shares in the company are currently down 21.47 percent as of 12.01PM (GMT).

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