UK: PizzaExpress mulls refreshed bid for City Centre Restaurants
Following the rebuff of its initial offer yesterday (2 November), PizzaExpress is believed to be taking time to reconsider its takeover bid of 65p per share for City Centre Restaurants . The City Centre group, which owns Est Est Est and Garfunkel's , recently issued a profit warning and released a statement promising that "the senior management continues to progress its strategic review of the group with a view to maximising shareholder value." Poor performance over the summer meant that its stock value had fallen to a ten-year low, but this rose again by 13% following analysts' speculation that PizzaExpress and a consortium of investors are now preparing to offer up to 75p per share.Following its recent difficulties, it was initially assumed that City Centre would focus on streamlining, to concentrate on its popular brands such as Caffe Uno and Frankie & Benny's, but now it seems that several bidders are on the scene pushing for a takeover, and PizzaExpress may be facing some fierce competition from Whitbread. The pub/restaurant group declined to comment however.
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