BIL brambles industries limited

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    Brambles declines comment as bid talk powers shares
    Thu September 18, 2003 06:45 AM ET
    LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Brambles Industries BI.L BIL.AX , the world's largest pallet supplier, declined on Thursday to comment on fresh speculation that it could be the subject of a bid, talk which boosted its shares by 7.4 percent in London.
    By 1014 GMT the shares were up 13 pence to 188p on strong volume of 18.9 million shares, easily outperforming the FTSE midcap 250 index gain of 0.2 percent. Brambles shares in Australia closed earlier 4.2 percent higher at A$4.92.

    Traders and analysts said the shares were reacting afresh to talk that it might be the target of a bid possibly from General Electric GE.N of the United States or Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers WES.AX .

    Talk in some quarters even suggested that the U.S. and Australian conglomerates might pitch a bid together for Brambles, which gleans more than half of its profit from its CHEP pallet-hire business, they said.

    Brambles shares bounced in April on speculation that GE might be interested in a bid and the Anglo-Australian firm's shares have recently strengthened after its French rival Le Pallet Rouge, part of Algeco ALGP.PA , reported weaker results and terminated some contracts.
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