The chairman of one of the UK's oldest companies has launched a bid to acquire the business.

Bryan Toye, of Birmingham-based jewellery manufacturer Toye & Co, has acquired  272,000 shares, giving him a controlling interest of 53.2 per cent.

It was announced to the London Stock Exchange today he had acquired the shares from Harris Rodriguez, a company based in Gibraltar, for 35p per share.

As a result of the acquisition, Mr Toye is required to make a mandatory cash offer for the company under Rule 9 of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers.

It will be unconditional and made by Bryan Toye Ltd, a special purpose limited liability company wholly controlled by Mr Toye. The offer price will be 35p per share.

The independent directors of Toye & Co plc, being the directors other than Bryan Toye and Fiona Toye, and who are deemed to be acting in concert with Bryan Toye Ltd, will write to shareholders setting out their response to the offer once it has been formally announced.

Toye & Co. was founded in 1685 and designs and manufactures jewellery and identity products for governments, corporates, societies, clubs and associations.

In addition to its metalworking base in the city's Jewellery Quarter, it has an office in London and a textile production operation in Bedworth, Warwickshire.

It holds a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty The Queen as supplier of gold and silver laces, insignia and embroidery and was commissioned to manufacture the medal presented to serving personnel in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

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