Programmed's opportunism puts Skilled offside

The proposed merger between contract labour business Skilled and Programmed has strong business logic, but Skilled's initial response suggests it isn't too happy about the terms of the proposal.

It is quite obvious from the contents of the letter from Programmed Maintenance Services’ chairman to his counterpart at Skilled Group that the two groups have had very detailed discussions about a merger in the past. It is equally obvious from the nature of the Programmed proposal and Skilled’s initial response that this isn’t the merger transaction Skilled envisaged.

Programmed confirmed today that it had put a merger of equals proposal to Skilled on December 17. The indicative terms of the merger were 0.5032 Programmed shares and 25 cents cash for each Skilled share.

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