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BBA PLC Considering Bid for Rival Lucas Industries

June 5, 1996

LONDON (AP) _ British engineering group BBA PLC said Wednesday it is considering bidding for auto parts maker Lucas Industries PLC, throwing a hitch in Lucas plans to buy Varity Corp.

Lucas said it had known of BBA’s interest, but said a combination with the company doesn’t make sense.

After its stock fell Tuesday on speculation about a bid, BBA on Wednesday issued a statement confirming it had been considering the possibility of an offer and will continue to review the situation.

Lucas last week announced it had agreed to a merger with Buffalo, N.Y.-based Varity that offers Varity shareholders about $2 billion. Weekend press reports said BBA had been considering a 2.5 billion pound hostile bid for Lucas.

``There is no industrial logic for such a bid. In contrast our merger with Varity increases shareholder value and is good for our customers, good for jobs and good for Britain,″ Lucas spokesman Mike Beard said.

The company added that in order to make a credible offer for Lucas, BBA would be left with little financial ability to develop its business.

BBA stock lost 3 percent Tuesday on rumors of the bid and fell another 4.1 percent Wednesday in London. Lucas shares, meanwhile, rose 2.9 percent on the BBA news Wednesday.

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