The former non-executive chairman of liquor company Allied Domecq PLC on Friday abandoned a three-month attempt to take charge of pest-control, security and hygiene company Rentokil Initial PLC. Gerry Robinson's Raphoe Management, set up in July as a vehicle to invest in underperforming companies, said it was calling off discussions with Rentokil shareholders that had been aimed at ousting the firm's management.
"I am sorry that we have not found the right way forward," Robinson said in a statement. "This was a genuine attempt to make a change with the existing shareholders staying involved. This has been an unsettling time for employees of Rentokil Initial and I apologize for that."
Rentokil shares were down 2.4 percent Friday afternoon at 151.50 pence, about US$2.69.
Robinson ruled out making a full-scale takeover bid worth around 3 billion pounds, about US$5.3 billion or Ђ4.42 billion on Monday, instead pinning his hopes on shareholders overthrowing the company's management and appointing him executive chairman.
Rentokil Chief Executive Doug Flynn said he was glad the distraction of the takeover bid had passed, allowing Rentokil, which suffered a 19.8 percent fall in profits in the first half of 2005, to concentrate on its business, according to the AP.
"We have a lot of work to do, but our recovery plan is absolutely on track and we are clear on what we need to do to restore Rentokil Initial to profitable growth," Flynn said.