Shares in Spanish food group Ebro Puleva rose €0.79, or 5.9%, to €14.23 this morning following a report that UK private equity firm Permira was preparing an offer for the company. At one stage the shares had touched €15, equating to a rise of 11.6%.
However, both Ebro Puleva and its touted suitor put out statements denying this report. The food producer is currently implementing a restructuring plan which is due to finish this March. Other private equity firms might be interested at that point said the report.
One broker said a buyout would not make sense as the company already carried debt worth 3.2 times expected earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). The group is worth €2.19bn (US$3.3bn).