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Britain's Restore rejects Marlowe offer after $1 billion bid made public

By Reuters

-Office services provider Restore Plc on Thursday rejected a take over offer of about 743 million pounds ($1.02 billion) from Marlowe Plc, after the British company made public its offer following repeated rebuffs from Restore.

Under the 530-pence-per-share proposal, Marlowe said 71 pence would be paid in cash for each share and the remainder would be given as new Marlowe shares. Restore shareholders would own roughly 49% of the combined group, it added.

Restore confirmed in a statement that it had rejected two offers from Marlowe in the past few weeks. It said the first offer of 515 pence apiece “significantly undervalued” Restore and the second “did not represent any material improvement”.

“The board remains highly confident in Restore’s standalone prospects,” the company said in a statement, urging shareholders not to take any action in relation to Marlowe’s offer.

Marlowe is known to acquire businesses and develop them to complement its operations. It bought Core Stream this week and in June acquired CQC Compliance. Restore’s document management and relocation services would aid Marlowe’s corporate units.

The second proposal Marlowe made to London-listed Restore represents a premium of 26% to its closing price of 420 pence on Wednesday.

Shares of Restore jumped about 15% in morning trading to 485 pence after Marlowe’s update but were well short of the offer price.

“Marlowe and Restore share the same corporate DNA and channels to market, and we believe that bringing our businesses together will create a leading business-critical services group,” Marlowe Chief Executive Officer Alex Dacre said.

($1 = 0.7285 pounds)