No other suitors likely to emerge, says City analyst
A City analyst has named department store chain Hoopers as a possible bidder for rival Beales. The latter issued a statement to the London Stock Exchange last Friday saying that, following a movement of its shares, it was prompted to confirm preliminary discussions had been held with a third party. The retailer said this did not mean an offer would necessarily be made.

Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner said he believed the third party in question was Lawdene, an investment vehicle for Thompson-owned chain Hoopers. However, he was doubtful that any offer by Lawdene would encourage other offers for Beales.

He said: 'At present, Beales is struggling hard to go slowly backwards. And with such a disparate portfolio in geographical spread and size, and much of it in poor condition, we would be surprised if anyone else would be seriously interested.'