UK edible oils and fats group Pura yesterday rejected a takeover bid from its former chairman, and shares soared in response.

According a statement from the company, former chairman Ian Hutcheson, together with Peter Burton, had offered an undisclosed price. This was unanimously rejected as inadequate by the board.

Shares climbed 21.2% in mid-day trading yesterday [Wednesday] as news broke that a takeover bid had been made. This still left the group's shares some 11% below the value at the beginning of the year.

Hutcheson owns some 10.4% of the shares in Pura.