Andrew Goodall, chief executive of privately owned Brunswick, said: “We will certainly look at other opportunities. The market value of most shares in the sector has come off 25% and there are a lot of opportunities out there.”
Any bid would be done on a friendly basis. Analysts said that Swan Hill and Prowting are potential targets, although Goodall refused to mention any names.
Goodall did confirm, however, that the McAlpine deal was dead. “As far as I am concerned the talks are over,” he said. “We simply weren’t able to reach any agreement.”
In a statement released last Friday, McAlpine said: “Brunswick and its partners have been unable to provide satisfactory evidence of their ability to finance a cash offer for the company’s share capital.”
It also forecasts pre-tax profit of not less than £46m for the year to 31 December 1999 – an increase of 35% on last year’s figure of £34m.