Catering equipment firm Enodis yesterday posted a sharp rise in pretax profits as it highlighted its reasons for rejecting a £796 million takeover approach.
Enodis, which makes fryers, grills and refrigerators for McDonald's and Burger King, said profits rose 71 per cent for the 26 weeks to April 1 to £24.4 million.
The group said it had seen strong growth across the business with like-for-like sales up eight per cent and operating profit ahead by 16 per cent.
Enodis announced on Saturday it had rejected US corporation Middleby's offer of 195p a share. In a statement it said: "The board considered this approach carefully and rejected it on the grounds that it significantly undervalued the company and its prospects."
Chief executive Dave McCulloch said he remained confident of "another year of good progress for Enodis".
He said price increases and cost cutting would offset the recent spike in commodity costs. Middleby said it had written to Enodis to reconfirm its desire to meet to discuss a strategic transaction.
It is reported that sources close to Middleby have indicated that the company and its merchant bank, Bank of America, have not ruled out going straight to shareholders or making a hostile offer.
Enodis has manufacturing and distribution facilities in North America, the UK, Western Europe, Asia and Canada, employing around 6,000 people worldwide.
Middleby, which is based in Elgin, Illinois, makes equipment for commercial kitchens and restaurants. It has been expanding rapidly by acquiring companies with significant market share and patented technologies. Enodis shares closed up 24p at 1991/2p.