Barely has the ink dried on his resignation and Chadlington is on
the warpath. This time his sights are on marketing services company
Huntsworth, in which he and other members of a concert party have been
building a stake which outweighs that of its current management.
Earlier this week, Huntsworth opted for what has been dubbed the
’nuclear option’ of an open auction. However, a price tag of pounds 10
million plus debt, its recent track record and the premium on the
shareprice that the concert party would no doubt demand, are pretty
Huntsworth has a good client base and decent margins, and the debt has
reduced from pounds 13 million to pounds 3.5 million, so who is to say
that it might not return a dividend given another 18 months? But it is
unlikely to be given the necessary time to prove the value of
maintaining its current directorship and any sale requires the concert
party’s approval. By its decision to go to auction, Huntsworth has also
forfeited the chance to mount a robust defence to the concert party’s
offence - a fact that will not have gone unnoticed by its employees.
Could this be a Catch-22?