The UK Takeover Panel declared that Western Power Distribution (WPD) of the US should take over the Welsh utility Hyder, after a four-month battle for the utility with the Japanese investment bank Nomura, according to a BBC news report. But, Nomura has allegedly appealed the decision, claiming that WPD submitted its higher bid of 365p per share too late.

Reports suggest that if the panel decides against Nomura, then the bank will request that the bidding contest is re-opened. Nomura wants both sides to put forward a ‘best and final offer’, but there is much speculation that whoever loses will try and take the Takeover Panel to court.

The battle between Nomura and WPD has seen shareholders’ stakes almost double in value over the last four months. Before Nomura submitted its first bid at the end of March 1999, Hyder’s shares were only 189p each. However, Nomura’s bid of 360p per share valued Hyder at £2.37B, despite its debt of £1.8B. Hyder’s shares were trading at 369p as IWP&DC went to press.