They say money talks and bullsh—er, other stuff walks.
We saw on Friday evening how cash is king, when Ranjit Boparan drove a coach and horses through the proposed Essenta tie-up. Specifically, a coach filled with money (reportedly lent to him by the good folk at Goldman Sachs).
Parking his gold-plated tanks on the Northern lawns prompted a fairly dramatic rethink from the pizza maker’s board, which is now recommending his 73p a share offer.
That offer – a premium of more than 50% on the company’s share price when the saga began – was generous enough to make the grass seem rather greener on Boparan’s side of the fence than it now does chez Greencore.
A few weeks ago, the management of both companies was talking about the planned tie-up as the best of all possible outcomes. Now Greencore is reduced to making statements about how it “recognises the importance attached by the Northern Foods board to the certainty of cash value”.
In other words: money talks, possible future synergies walk. Greencore is now weighing up whether to throw a few quid into the mixer as well as the shares.
Cash is increasingly king in the jobs market too. While our 2011 Salary Survey shows that the big freeze is starting to thaw, the emphasis workers place on their pay packets is greater than ever.
In 2009, a relatively modest 56% cited remuneration as the key factor in deciding whether to move jobs or not. Other considerations included flexible working and a new set of corporate wheels. In 2010, the proportion yelling ‘Show me the money!’ was up to 86%.
The grass doesn’t always turn out to be greener when you vault over the fence, but having a bulging back pocket can certainly make the landing softer.
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