CITY WHISPERS: Skin in the game? Devro investors still don’t know

CITY WHISPERS: Skin in the game? Devro investors still unsure where they stand on takeover

They call it the furtive season – the Christmas and New Year period when companies have been known to sneak out awkward announcements.

So shareholders in Devro could be forgiven for raising an eyebrow when the sausage skin maker on the receiving end of a £667million bid from Germany’s Rethmann Group told investors on December 22 of a delay in sending them its statutory ‘warts-and-all’ takeover document.

Normally such information must be sent to shareholders 28 days after the deal announcement – which was in November in Devro’s case.

Shareholders of sausage skin maker Devro will have to wait until January 15 for takeover docs

But Devro said ‘in light of the holiday period and court availability’ investors would have to wait until January 15.

Getting hold of a Scottish judge at this time of the year to approve the so-called ‘scheme of arrangement’ is clearly easier said than done.

Gavin Patterson isn’t looking for another full-time job 

One business veteran who will have a lot more free time this year is former BT boss Gavin Patterson.

He is poised to step down from his current role at US cloud-based software group Salesforce at the end of the month.

Patterson already keeps himself busy as a chairman and trustee of the charity Business in the Community and with a board role at the London School of Economics.

But he isn’t looking for another full-time role, he told Whispers.

‘I won’t be taking on another executive job,’ the 55-year-old said. ‘I’ll focus on non-executive director jobs and advisory work.’

Yep, certainly no need for a full-time job after earning an estimated £11million last year.

RS Group  

RS Group, the industrial equipment maker formerly known as Electrocomponents, welcomed Mawer Investment Management on to its shareholder register in December, it was revealed last week.

Canadian firm Mawer took a 5.1 per cent stake in RS – which is one of the FTSE 100’s non-household names. 

But, awkwardly for RS, the transaction came shortly before it published its light-hearted review of the year in the form of a poem in Canada’s Financial Post publication.

Mawer tells readers: ‘Stay calm and prepare. Continue thinking long term. Choose “boring” over flare.’ Ouch.

Novolipetsk Steel to delist from LSE 

The London Stock Exchange will bid farewell to another Russian company later this month.

Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK), the country’s largest steelmaker, is due to delist its global depository shares – certificates that represent its stock – on January 18.

Other big-name groups to depart since the invasion of Ukraine include Gazprom and Rosneft. 

All of these companies were on a list of 27 firms whose shares were suspended by the LSE last March, when Russian businesses saw the value of their stock dive.