01 June 1999

THROUGH-THE-LINE group Incepta rained on Lopex's parade at the latter's AGM last month, when the predator used its significant stake of just below 30% to block two resolutions authorising Lopex to issue shares, either to raise capital or fund acquisitions. Reminiscent of a circling shark, Incepta has retained its stake in Lopex since an unsuccessful hostile bid to acquire its rival two years ago: 'This industry is consolidating and we are an acquisitive company', said John Rudofsky, a director of Incepta subsidiary Citgate Dewe Rogerson. He hinted heavily at second hostile bid: 'There is a neat fit between Lopex and Incepta and since we obtained our stake in the group, its performance and share price have improved. There is bound to be a move or a resolution of our relations at some stage.' Lopex is outraged at the spoiling tactic: 'We are surprised at the way Incepta has handled the situation and may well be seeking professional advice as to how to respond', fulminated Lopex chief executive Peter Thomas.