William Sinclair has turned down an offer of £12m in compensation for the Bolton Fell peat bog.
Bolton Fell has been submitted to the EU as a Special Area of Conservation. This means that peat production will have to stop in a few years. Surveyors have been appointed by Sinclair to assess the value of the company’s facility on the site.
Natural England will pay the compensation and has proposed approximately £12m.
Sinclair’s broker Arbuthnot says that US-based garden products supplier Scotts was awarded £17.3m in compensation back in 2002. There is no indication how similar the two cases are but it appears that Sinclair can get more than the £12m currently on offer.
A negotiated settlement is likely this year or the two side will go to the Lands Tribunal to determine the level of compensation.
Net debt was £8.69m at the end of September 2008. The NAV was £14.4m, or £12.7m excluding intangibles. At 55p a share, Sinclair is valued at £9.1m. Even £12m in compensation would be significant for Sinclair.
William Sinclair founded his eponymous company in 1850. It was initially a seed business and has developed into a commercial horticulture and branded garden products. Products include peat, peat free compost and organic plant foods. Sinclair joined the USM in 1983 and moved to the Main Market in 1988. The share quotation was transferred to Aim on 20 December 2006.
Sinclair made a profit of £521,000 on revenues of £54.8m in the 15 months to September 2008. The total dividend for the period was 2p a share.
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