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Mayflower to buy body specialist

Mayflower Corporation, the British engineering group, has confirmed plans to buy a European auto body engineering specialist.

Chief executive John Simpson says negotiations are at too early a stage to name the company involved but adds that the deal will cost a relatively small amount of cash while adding “exciting technology” to the firm's portfolio. Mayflower says it wants to raise £66.7m to fund small strategic acquisitions and overseas expansion. It hopes to sell up to 95.3m new shares, offering investors four shares for every 11 they own at 70p each - a 25 per cent discount. The share price had risen amid speculation that a management buyout was on the cards. This announcement comes after Mayflower secured a £70m order from three London bus operators.

The deal, which takes the TransBus order book to £240m, will see it supply about 320 double-deck and single-deck buses for Go-Ahead, Metroline and London United.

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