Datrontech Group?s share price sank to an all time low last week, fuelling speculation that the specialist distributor may be at risk from a hostile takeover bid.
Rumours are rife within the channel that the distributor has been approached by two US companies. One European firm is also said to have expressed an interest.
Since Datrontech floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1995, its shares have slumped from the introductory 260p per share to 85p on 4 August ? its lowest on record. The high point for the year so far has been 255p. The price had levelled out at 87.5p on 11 August.
One analyst claimed that Datrontech?s ?share price makes it a very interesting acquisition target, because it is so cheap?.
He also pointed out that its prized status as authorised Intel distributor made it a very attractive investment to any company interested in the chip giant?s products. Intel is known within the industry for the restrictions it places on the number of official distribution outlets. ?It would be well worth buying it for it Intel franchise,? said the analyst.
The low share price will stop acquisitive Datrontech in its tracks. It has bought four companies over the past 12 months.
Steve King, chairman of Datrontech, said he was ?very disappointed that the [UK] sector was being targeted en masse by the City, even though there are some areas that are picking up?.
He declined to comment any further, maintaining that the company is in its closed period as it prepares to post its interim results for the period ending 30 June, due for release on 9 September.
Patrick Orr, analyst at Datrontech?s broker, Panmure Gordon, said: ?On the surface, the share price fall is grossly overdone. It is more of a reflection of the market as a whole rather than any failing on Datrontech?s part.?
There has been a slow-down in the performance of the UK PC market (PC Dealer, 28 May). Datrontech?s performance was also reflected in a profit warning for the second quarter to 30 June and redundancies as part of a restructuring exercise.
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