Board remains adamant that Saint-Gobain takeover bid is not acceptable

BPB says it intends to stand its ground in its battle to avoid a £3.6bn takeover by French company Saint-Gobain after announcing pre-tax profits are up 28.5% to £185m for the first six months of 2005. It said underlying earnings per share were up 30%, and that group turnover has risen 12% in the same period.

Saint-Gobain, which was given the go-ahead by the EU to proceed with its bid yesterday, claims that the plasterboard maker is “exaggerating its prospects” in an effort to stop the merger going ahead. In a statement issued before BPB announced its interim results, Saint-Gobain said that: “there are considerable risks that [BPB's five year, double digit earnings growth] target will be missed, not least due to the cyclical nature of the business".

Chairman of BPB Sir Ian Gibson remains resolute, saying: “BPB's record first-half results provide further evidence of our strong trading momentum and reinforce the Board's view that Saint-Gobain is trying to take over BPB on the cheap.” He said that the board was very confident that BPB would meet its forecasted pre-tax profits for the full year of at least £350m.

He has told shareholders to reject Saint-Gobain’s offer, which the board considers “neither full nor fair”.

The final deadline for acceptances is 2 December.